DENVER – The key phrase from Michael Malone’s pregame media availability Monday was ‘foreseeable future.’

Malone announced the Nuggets would be without Michael Porter Jr. for an indeterminate amount of time after the forward tweaked his back early in Saturday’s win over the Houston Rockets.

“Michael could be back in a week. It could be more than that. I don’t know,” Malone said. “When I say ‘foreseeable future’ I’m not really sure what that means. I just know that he’s not playing tonight.”

Malone said the Nuggets would support Porter for as long as he’s out. Porter has undergone two back surgeries to fix bulging disks – one early in his freshman season at Missouri and another after the Nuggets drafted him 14th overall in 2018.

“Obviously, this a process where we’re being very cautious, talking to doctors, getting imaging all that kind of stuff,” Malone said. “I would say, just for now, Michael is out for the foreseeable future. When we have more details and a more definite timeline, we’ll let you all know.”

The Nuggets signed Porter to a five-year max extension prior to the season. In the first nine games this season, Porter was averaging 9.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals while shooting 35.9% from the field and 20.8% from 3.

“Obviously, he’s frustrated with more so just the injury. Forget how he played in the first nine games. He wants to be out there and help this team win,” Malone said. “While he’s out, he won’t be able to do that, and that’s frustrating for any player. We’ll support him. We’ll love him, and we’ll to do that until we can get him back.”

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