OAKLAND — Warriors center Andrew Bogut insists he will no longer even attempt to guess when he might return to the court for Golden State, saying only that he is out “indefinitely.” He plans to leave it that way until the day he is running layup drills to warm up for a game.
Nope, no more predictions or expectations from him — or his team — about when he might play only to have the timeline pushed back because of further issues with his surgically repaired left ankle.
“It’s basically come down to saying indefinitely, because questions just keep coming up,” Bogut said Thursday night before the Warriors hosted Denver. “One day I’m just going to pop up and play and not tell anybody about it. At this point, because it’s a distraction. We’re 8-6 right now and everybody’s talking about me. We’re playing the best basketball we have in probably the last five years as an organization.”
The Australian center told the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday that his April ankle procedure was more extensive than was let on: It was actually microfracture surgery. General manager Bob Myers then acknowledged the surgery Wednesday, insisting the team didn’t intend to mislead anyone by describing the procedure as only to clean out loose particles and bone spurs.
He publicly apologized Thursday night to anyone who might have questioned how the situation was handled.
“I’m fine with it. I have no dramas, no problems, with the way it’s been handled,” Bogut said. “People’s perceptions are always going to take its toll. I think Bob’s a little frustrated with it. He keeps asking me, ‘Are you good?’ They’ve been nothing but supportive. If anything I’ve probably been a little silly trying to come back a little earlier than I should have.”
Bogut, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2005 out of Utah, missed the entire preseason and has played in just four games so far for the Warriors. He is averaging 6.0 points and 3.8 rebounds in 18.2 minutes.
The 7-foot Bogut was acquired in a trade from Milwaukee on March 13 that sent high-flying guard and fan favorite Monta Ellis to the Bucks. Bogut broke his ankle last Jan. 25 while with Milwaukee when he landed awkwardly against Houston, then missed the rest of the season.
“Obviously, I was an integral part of the trade but it shouldn’t be about me right now,” Bogut said. “It’s a frustrating injury for me mentally. No doctors, surgeon, our trainers, anybody, can say, ‘This is your day.’ It’s just not realistic, and I can’t even circle a day on my calendar right now. I’m just stuck in the realm of, I do what I can and when it’s ready, it’s ready.”
He recently spent time rehabbing in Los Angeles under the supervision of Dr. Richard Ferkel, who performed his surgery. Earlier this month, the Warriors said they expected Bogut would be sidelined a week to 10 days. Last week they hoped he would be ready to return to practice Monday, but that didn’t happen.
This is just the latest injury drama to plague Bogut during his career. He missed the end of the 2009-10 season when he dislocated his right elbow, sprained his right wrist and broke his right hand in a hard fall to the floor. The injury bothered him for much of last season.
Bogut, averaging 12.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots for his career, also missed significant time with an injured lower back in the 2008-09 season.
And for anybody questioning how seriously Bogut is taking his own recovery, he points out he isn’t even walking his two Husky dogs in an effort to keep any extra pressure off his ankle, and “it’s killing me.”
“I get home at 4 o’clock and I’m icing three or four times before I go to bed,” he said. “I’ll keep working at it every day. Once it’s right, it’s right. It’s not a little injury I’m bouncing back from. Another thing is guys who have bounced back from this injury aren’t 265-270 pounds and 7-feet tall. That doesn’t work in my favor right now. That’s a lot of load to put on an ankle.”