(SEDALIA, Mo.)–Before University of Missouri Basketball fans could process the unexpected news that Michael Porter Jr. could play this season, they learned the freshman phenom may end up having a much bigger impact off the court. According to Sedalia, MO orthopedist Dr. Larry Lathrop, Porter is going to return even better than he was before.
“Much better,” Lathrop said. “Like, you don’t even know. Dude.”
Earlier this week, St. Louis celebrity orthopedist Dr. Rick Lehman told radio listeners he expected Porter back on the hardwood shortly after Missouri begins SEC play. In a tweet heard around the Mizzou world, reporter Alec Lewis offered hope to every Missouri fan who had taken up drinking irresponsibly again.
Dr. Rick Lehman talking Michael Porter Jr. on @Frank_Cusumano‘s radio show this morning: “I think he’ll be back in the next four weeks, and that’s more than just a guess.”
— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) December 12, 2017
While Lehman is not actually Porter’s doctor, the news was enough to rouse the spirits of a Missouri basketball fan base that could only be described as limp and embarrassing.
“That’s what she said!” Dr. Lathrop said after calling this reporter 24 hours later with an even bolder prediction.
“You’ve seen Iron Man, right?,” Dr. Lathrop said. “Think that, but with a wicked (expletive) jump shot.”
Dr. Lathrop–who is also not Porter’s doctor–said he felt emboldened by another doctor offering a diagnosis on someone who was not his patient.
“I’d always thought we weren’t allowed to do that,” Dr. Lathrop said. “If I’d known we could, I would’ve predicted a lot of other stuff. I (expletive) knew Balloon Boy was a hoax hours before anybody else did.”
Lathrop’s practice operates out of a strip mall behind the Sonic in Sedalia. (“Best (expletive) hot dogs in Missouri, and it’s this local place in Sedalia. We’re very proud of that.”) He said while he doesn’t have a Wikipedia page or radio guest appearances like Lehman, he also has performed the microdisectomy Porter underwent last month.
“I’ve done three of them, two of which did not result in malpractice suits, thank you,” he said. “And I can tell you, MPJ is going to be a (expletive) superhero. No, literally. You ever seen fire shoot out of somebody’s lumbar region? Imagine that (expletive) when some (expletive) Kentucky Wildcat tries to post up on him. (Expletive) fire!”
Lathrop said he was not in a position to predict which evil and villainous force would threaten Columbia in the new year, but when it came, Porter would be there and ready to defend the city’s citizens.
“MPJ is meant for much bigger things,” Lathrop said. “Sure, he may go NBA, but–write this down–he is meant for a nobler…more noble…which is it? He’s meant for some important (expletive)(expletive). He is gonna play, and then he is gonna save us all.”
Missouri Athletic Director Jim Sterk, speaking via satellite phone from an ashram in India where he traveled to consult a yogi about Porter’s future, said he appreciates Dr. Lathrop’s diagnosis but that Columbia Police could handle protecting the city.
Sterk said, “If and win…I mean if and when Michael comes back, he will have one focus and one focus only. That’s why it’s called focus. If he had two focuses, it would be foci, and…you know what, can I call you back when I get in the air? I’ve got to memorize this chant before I get on a plane.”
Dr. Lehman said he couldn’t comment on Dr. Lathrop’s diagnosis. “Lathrop? Wasn’t that a dorm at Mizzou? Don’t know him. Doesn’t have a Wiki page. Can’t vouch for him,” Lehman said.
Mizzou is scheduled to play North Florida Saturday night where Porter will again sit out.
“His (expletive) Fire Back isn’t quite ready to fight evil yet,” Lathrop said. “But it will be soon. Braggin’ Rights game is coming up. You imagine MPJ back-firing through the (expletive) St. Louis Arch? Back Fire? Hell yeah! That will be his name. Soft-spoken basketball player by day. Mother (expletive) Back Fire by night! So (expletive) boss!”
Asked if he’d been drinking, Lathrop said, “Haven’t had a drink since I got my first prescription pad, brother!”