ESPN posted an update on Michael Porter Jr. that states he feels “pain-free” after his latest surgery. From the article:

Porter told ESPN on Sunday at the NBA’s annual rookie photo shoot that, “I finally feel, like, good,” and he is hoping to be ready for game action around the time the season tips in mid-October.

”I don’t have a date but I’m hoping to be back for the beginning of the year. Gotta heal up, but I feel great,” Porter said. “I’m able to get on the court a little bit right now, do some different things. But my rehab has definitely been very conservative. They’re really taking it easy with me, being patient with me.”

He also described his surgery as fixing a second symptomatic disk in his back that they left alone with the first surgery.

“So my first surgery helped a lot but didn’t fix the entire problem. Now that they did this one, I’ve got no pain or anything. I’m excited.”

Porter Jr. has been one of the most consistent newsmakers of the offseason for the Nuggets. Whether it was word of his second back surgery or stories of his NBA2K prowess, it’s been hard to go a week without more national news about Porter. His back surgery made the front page of ESPN – that’s not a place the Nuggets are usually granted.

The hype train for Porter that was built before he stepped on a college basketball court continues, and even his liking of an Instagram post critical of fellow rookie Luka Doncic made headlines. He explained to ESPN at the rookie photo shoot (while standing next to Doncic himself) that it was an accident and he has “nothing but respect” for the Euroleague MVP. With the spotlight creeping back onto the Nuggets, Porter Jr. will need to make sure he stays in it for positive reasons.

Read the entire article, and enjoy Denver getting press even with players who have yet to take the court. The Nuggets have wandered in the NBA wilderness for half a decade and were off the national scene entirely just a couple of years ago.

Now all they have to do is live up to the hype and expectations. No pressure. If Porter Jr. is really ready for live game action in October, Denver’s chances to do so definitely improve. If you want to see how pure his shot already looks, take a gander at this:

It’s okay to get a little excited, Denver. You have my permission.