ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The initial word was that the most hyped basketball player ever to attend Missouri would be miss the remainder of this season and is a possible top-3 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. But then Michael Porter Jr. said the 3-4 month recovery time was a lie. Now his coach is keeping the hopes of Tigers fans lifted that we could still see Porter Jr. in the black and gold.

Missouri Tigers player Michael Porter Jr. answers questions from members of the media during SEC Media Day Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Cuonzo Martin joined KMOX’s John Hancock and Michael Kelly on Monday, to talk about the absence of the top recruited freshman’s injury and how Mizzou will carry on without him for a the next couple months.

Here’s a section of their conversation, starting with a question from Kelly:

Kelly: A lot of people came to the conclusion that as a result of this injury that he would probably never play for Missouri basketball, have you come to that conclusion?

Cuonzo: No, and truthfully, as a coach my job is to lead a program and first and foremost when it comes to Mike to make sure that he is 100 percent healthy, feeling good, excited. That’s the most important thing for me and that’s what any guy would want for his team, the health is most important… So I’ll just leave it at that, if he’s healthy, he’s healthy. If he’s not, again, I want him to be 100 percent healthy and that’s the most important thing for me.”

You can listen to the full interview here, Martin joins the show at the 9:00 mark:

Porter Jr. played just two minutes of regular season basketball for the Tigers, scoring two points in the 74-59 win against Iowa State.

He was named a Preseason All-American by the Associated Press, and had stated plans to “leave a legacy” in Columbia before he left for the NBA.

The Tigers are 6-2 this season, undefeated at home and will host Miami of Ohio, Tuesday night at 8 p.m.

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