Throughout the course of the preseason, Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. has been sidelined with an ankle injury. Despite missing out on Denver’s five exhibition matchups, Porter Jr. sounds like he’s ready to go for Tuesday’s opener against the Los Angeles Lakers.
He told The Athletic’s Joe Vardon that he “wouldn’t miss” the game for anything.
“I wouldn’t miss tomorrow for anything,” Porter said. “We’re excited. It’s going to be pretty surreal. Tomorrow is going to be a weird game day in general. I think it’s a 5:30 tip, putting in the ceremonial stuff beforehand, but it’s going to be really cool. I think it’ll make the (reality of winning the finals) set in and kind of like bring everything to completion, and then we can just focus on this next season.”
News of Porter Jr.’s ankle ailment first surfaced back on Oct. 4, when DNVR’s Harrison Wind reported that the forward was seen in a walking boot at Denver’s training camp.
“Porter Jr. had a walking boot on his left foot as he left the gym today,” Wind reported on X. “He sprained his ankle during practice and it swelled up, I’m told. Nothing too concerning.”
Michael Porter Jr. will once again play a key role for the Denver Nuggets
The 25-year-old forward is primed to play a sizable role for the Nuggets once again this season. Last year, Porter Jr. posted averages of 17.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while knocking down an efficient 48.7% of his attempts from the field and 41.4% of those from beyond the arc.
With the departures of both Bruce Brown and Jeff Green this summer, the reinforcements behind Denver’s No. 1 are a bit more scarce. Sure, young guys like Christian Braun, Peyton Watson, and even Julian Strawther could fill the void, but if they don’t then Porter Jr. will see a bit more responsibility.
Having him healthy will be key in Denver’s goal of repeating as NBA champions this season.