Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut continues to have injury troubles. A nagging ankle injury limited Bogut to just 17 minutes during Wednesday's 106-96 home victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it will sideline the seven-footer for several games.
UPDATE: Monday, Jan. 28, at 7:25 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos
The Golden State Warriors tweeted the news their fans have been waiting for, and center Andrew Bogut will play in tonight's game:
OFFICIAL: Andrew Bogut will play (and start) in today's game in Toronto.— Golden St. Warriors (@warriors) January 28, 2013
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UPDATE: Monday, Jan. 28, at 1:50 p.m. ET by Tim Daniels
No final decision as to whether or not Bogut will be in the lineup tonight has been made. But Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports reports the center won't have restrictions if he does suit up.
Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpearsESPN
Warriors will not impose a minute limit on Andrew Bogut if he returns to action tonight at Toronto. "Depends on how he feels," source said.1/28/2013, 6:43:47 PM
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UPDATE: Monday, Jan. 23, at 1:10 p.m. by Timothy Rapp
Good news, Warriors' fans—you could have your starting center back in the lineup as soon as Monday evening.
Warriors starting center Andrew Bogut is aiming at coming back Monday night in Toronto. It will all depend on how he feels after pregame warmups. But multiple sources said Bogut is planning to give it ago.
At Monday's shootaround at the Air Canada Centre, Bogut was wearing his practice jersey on the blue side—reserved for the starters. Plus there was a buzz about the center's probable return.
The Warriors are being quiet on the matter and coach Mark Jackson maintains his stance that Bogut will come back when he is ready. Bogut doesn't want to create a big to-do, one source said, and ramp up expectations. He and the Warriors have opted not discuss his recovery progress since news broke in late November that surgery on his left ankle in April included a microfracture procedure.
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UPDATE: Thursday, Nov. 29 at 1:23 p.m. by Matt Fitzgerald
ESPN.com's news services brings an all-encompassing report that reveals a much more grave situation for Bogut than previously imagined. As it turns out, the Warriors center had microfracture surgery on his ankle back in April:
Tired of questions about when he will return...Bogut revealed that the ankle surgery he had last season was more serious that previously said, and the team is now saying he is out indefinitely.
Bogut then elaborated on the matter more, expressing his frustration at how slowly the process has dragged along:
We don't want to fool anybody, anymore...We don't want to keep creating a little bit of excitement of, "Hey, Andrew might be playing Saturday. It might be Monday. He's back."
It's enough. It takes a toll on me personally and on the organization. ... It got to the point that we spoke this morning and I said, "Let's make it an indefinite leave until I'm ready." There's no point in throwing numbers out there.
This is certainly a massive letdown for Golden State fans, who were expecting to get a big boost on defense once the former No. 1 overall pick returned to the fold. However, the Warriors have gotten off to a decent 8-6 start, but will have to continue to overcome the adversity caused by Bogut's absence.
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UPDATE: Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 3:57 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway
More unfortunate news continues to come out about Bogut's ankle. Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle is now reporting that Bogut said on Tuesday there is no chance he will play on Saturday against the Indiana Pacers:
Warriors center Andrew Bogut said there is no way he's playing Saturday. There's still way too much swelling in his left ankle.— Rusty Simmons (@Rusty_SFChron) November 27, 2012
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UPDATE: Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. ET by Richard Langford
CSN's Matt Steinmetz offers up a glimmer of hope for those waiting for Bogut's return to the hardwood.
Warriors say center Andrew Bogut could return to practice on Monday.— Matt Steinmetz (@MSteinmetzCSN) November 20, 2012
UPDATE: Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 4:05 p.m. ET by Ryan Rudnansky
Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle tweeted on Tuesday:
Andrew bogut won't make three-game trip with Warriors that starts Friday in Minnesota.— Rusty Simmons (@Rusty_SFChron) November 13, 2012
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Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle has the latest on center's status:
Andrew Bogut to be shut down next 7-10 days, according to Coach Jackson.
— Rusty Simmons (@Rusty_SFChron) November 8, 2012
As Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News reported after the season opener, Bogut's ankle clearly has not been 100 percent to start the season, as he's been recovering from surgery since March (h/t USA TODAY).
In spite of that, head coach Mark Jackson has benefited even from Bogut's limited presence—under 20 minutes per game—in the paint through the team's first four-plus games.
Bogut will be the cornerstone to improving the team's defense moving forward. Golden State has been routinely one of the worst defending teams in the league, but it has shown signs of shoring up that end of the floor to begin the 2012-13 season.
The Warriors have plenty of offensive firepower up front with David Lee and a plethora of guards and swingmen who can score, led by Stephen Curry.
That gives more of a chance for Bogut to focus on defense—whenever he is healthy enough to stay in the lineup on a consistent basis.
For the team to maintain its early lead atop the Pacific West division, Bogut must get to a point where he can play more than 20 minutes per night. If it takes seven to 10 days to make sure that happens, it is well worth the wait.
Otherwise, it will likely be the same old lackluster defensive story for the Warriors, despite their strong start.