Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr., a projected NBA draft lottery pick who has played just two minutes this season because of November back surgery, remains hopeful of playing again in 2017-18 for the Tigers. "There's a good chance," Porter told reporters Friday afternoon. "I think doctors are going to be amazed at my progress. "I'm feeling better every day. I'm hoping the doctor feels the same way." Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin told ESPN that Porter has not been cleared to practice with the team. Porter, however, said he's optimistic that he'll be cleared to practice next week after meeting with doctors. "I'm really not sure what to expect," Martin said. "It wouldn't surprise me either way." Six-foot-10 Porter was considered by many NBA executives as a candidate to be the No. 1 pick in June's draft thanks to his combination of size, length and skill. However, many NBA executives told ESPN they are concerned about a lingering back injury, which necessitated surgery in November.