MIAMI - A third back surgery will keep Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. off the court for an indefinite period of time, according to multiple reports.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone confirmed the need for surgery prior to Monday's game in Miami.

"I think he’s hanging there. I mean, obviously, (it’s) not the outcome or the news that we all were hoping for. Surgery was a last resort, but it is what it is," Malone said. "He’s been down this road before. He has an incredible family behind him. He has the entire organization behind him, so he’ll get the surgery. We’re all wishing and hoping for a speedy recovery, and he’ll join us whenever that is."

Porter sustained the injury early in a win over the Houston Rockets on Nov. 6 and hasn’t played since. The 23-year-old sharpshooter had his first two surgeries between his lone year at Missouri and his rookie season with the Nuggets.

Porter is expected to make a full recovery, his agent told ESPN, but the exact timetable for his return will not be known until after the surgery.

After posting 19 points per game last season and earning a five-year max contract extension in the offseason, Porter was averaging 9.9 points and 6.6 rebounds per game this season before the injury.

"We all feel for Michael. We all love him, and we’re all hoping for the best," Malone said.

"This is not the way we planned this season to go, but you can’t control these things."

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