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Denver Nuggets' Michael Porter Jr. sidelined for 'foreseeable future'

Denver Nuggets' Michael Porter Jr. sidelined for 'foreseeable future'
Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1), shown May 1, 2021, was forced to exit Saturday's game against the Houston Rockets during the first quarter with what the team called back tightness. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. is out for the "foreseeable future" as he continues to undergo additional testing on his back, head coach Michael Malone said Monday.

Porter was forced to exit Saturday's game against the Houston Rockets during the first quarter with what the team called back tightness. He previously was ruled out for Monday's matchup against the Miami Heat due to lower back pain.

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Malone told reporters before Monday's game against the Heat that the team is being cautious with the former first-round draft pick, noting that Porter "could be back in a week. It could be more than that. I don't know."

The 23-year-old Porter was one of the top high school basketball recruits in the country before having back surgery that derailed his freshman season at the University of Missouri. He had another back procedure after the Nuggets drafted him in 2018 that caused him to miss his entire rookie campaign.

Porter bounced back in the 2019-20 season and is coming off a 2020-21 campaign in which he averaged 19 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

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Porter signed a five-year, $173 million contract extension this past off-season, but he has been struggling at the start of the season. Across nine games, he is averaging 9.9 points and 6.6 rebounds, while shooting just 35.9% from the field and 20.8% from 3-point range.

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