It was not the collegiate career Michael Porter Jr. expected. He only played three games in 2017-18: Missouri's season opener, its lone SEC tournament game and the team's first-round NCAA tournament loss. For the most part, while recovering from back surgery, Porter had to stay away from physical activity.

"I was reading a lot," Porter Jr. says. "I was watching a lot of Netflix, Prison Break, Breaking Bad, a bunch of Netflix shows. Just hanging out with the family, playing a lot of Fortnite too."

How does Fortnite help a modern NBA player recover from injury?

"Hey man, when you're playing Fortnite, you don't even think about anything else."

But for real, Porter Jr. found himself in a unique situation where he could do nothing but watch the game from a distant lens. He made some observations.

"You learn a lot," he says of watching. "You get to see it from a different angle. You get to learn pace of the game. You get to see a lot of things you wouldn't see if you were on the floor, so now when I'm back on the floor, I try to apply those same things: Space on the floor, where I can get easy shots, stuff like that.

"I was just taking mental notes and honestly seeing what my teammates did and trying to help them out any way I could."

It is worth noting Blake Griffin, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons all missed significant injury time before making their NBA debuts and performed at an extraordinarily high level when they started their pro careers. Kyrie Irving is an example of a player who missed most of his lone collegiate season with injury -- 11 games at Duke, including eight-regular season games and zero ACC games -- but picked up his stride in the NBA.

Porter Jr. was the No. 2 recruit in the 2017 class by both ESPN and 247 Sports. He is expected to be a lottery pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Porter Jr. spoke with ThePostGame on behalf of Autotrader. Porter Jr. was in New York City, specifically promoting Autotrader's addition of Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor to its shopping experience.

-- Follow Jeff Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband. Like Jeff Eisenband on Facebook.