Michael Porter Jr. returns to practice; no timetable yet for return

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr. returned to practice Friday, three months after he had back surgery.

Head coach Cuonzo Martin said there is no timetable for Porter's return to play. Porter was in a sweatsuit, not in uniform, and did not take part in layup lines before Saturday's game against Kentucky.

"Just one day at a time," Martin said. "The most important thing is his well-being, his health and making sure he's ready to go."

The top prep prospect in the country last season, Porter played just two minutes in Missouri's opener in November.

He had back surgery Nov. 21, with a projected recovery time of three to four months. The Tigers had announced the day of his surgery it would "likely cause him to miss the remainder of the season."

"If he's healthy enough to practice and go through it -- bang up and down, run the floor, block out, fall down, take a charge, all of those things -- then I'll decide between the doctor's and trainers," Martin said.

The Tigers (18-10, 8-7 Southeastern Conference) have lost two straight after winning five in a row. Missouri's most recent loss came at home Tuesday against Ole Miss, which is tied for last in the conference.

Porter averaged 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds as a senior in high school in Washington and was selected to the McDonald's All-American team after signing with the Tigers.

The 6-foot-10 Porter hinted at his return during a news conference on Feb. 9, where he said there was a "good chance" he'd come back.

"He's a competitive player," Martin said. "So if you say play tomorrow, he's playing tomorrow."