The Warriors knew this was a possibility when they traded for Andrew Bogut, that they’d never get a full season out of him. So releases like today’s probably don’t cause great consternation or surprise around Warriors headquarters.
Warriors center Andrew Bogut underwent an MRI on his right knee on December 10, 2014, that revealed chondromalacia & bone edema, which was causing the swelling and instability that he was experiencing in the knee. After consulting yesterday (12/17) with the Warriors’ medical staff and with his own personal physician from Australia, Andrew elected to undergo platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy to treat his right knee.
There is currently no timetable set for Andrew’s return.
“We fully support Andrew in his decision to undergo the PRP treatment,” said Warriors General Manager Bob Myers. “Our number one concern is that Andrew is 100% healthy and we will continue to support him in any way we can to make that happen.”
That doesn’t mean Warriors fans are pleased or patient. But Bogut is used to durability-focused criticism.
Keep it coming……Heard worse!
— Andrew Bogut (@andrewbogut) December 18, 2014
Sure, it’d be nice to have a healthy Bogut for the next 58 games and obliterate their franchise record for wins in a season (59, set in 1975-76). It also seems like a blast to play with Bogut, an unselfish passer who allows the wing players to make defensive mistakes on the perimeter with his quick recoveries and leaping rejections. He’s a handoff-facilitator, screen-setter and enforcer. He’s a center with good hands who takes charges and knows how to stay out of foul trouble, and Festus Ezeli brings none of those qualities.
However, Bogut is more Ken Griffey Jr. than Barry Bonds. Bogut might do all the little things, but he either refuses or doesn’t know how to avoid injuries. And Bogut’s physical setbacks are rarely minor, as we are seeing once again with this latest one. It looked like a relatively innocuous play in Minnesota that sent him limping to the bench, and then the locker room, but clearly this is a knee problem that’ll keep him out well into 2015.
This bit of bad news could cause the Warriors to slide a bit in the Western Conference standings. Even with their ridiculously long winning streak and the highest point-differential in the NBA, they’re only a half-game ahead of the Grizzlies. They’re only five games ahead of the seventh-place Spurs, who are still finding their footing and won 19 straight at the end of last season. They’re only 9.5 games up on Oklahoma City (this year’s version of #FullSquad, with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant coming back with plenty of time to spare). The Thunder come to Oracle tonight riding a seven-game winning streak of their own.
Worse-case scenario: Bogut misses the entire season (which is certainly possible).
Best-case scenario: A repeat of 2012-13.
Bogut teased the Warriors last season. He only missed one of the team’s first 49 games, and that was due to a suspension stemming from a skirmish in Portland. Then his season got chaotic.
- Missed seven games
- Played twelve games
- Missed one game
- Played three games
- Missed four fames
- Played four games
In the last of those four, game No. 80, he fractured his rib in Portland. It was a season-ending injury, as the Warriors were left to play the last two regular season games and a seven-game series against the Clippers without him. Bogut played in 67 games during the regular season, which is probably about as much as one could reasonably expect at this point in his career. But including the playoffs, Bogut missed 21 of the team’s last 39 games. Ouch.
Bogut only played in 32 games during the 2012-13 season after a lengthy recovery from microfracture surgery on his ankle, but his timing was much better. He played in four of the team’s first five games, then he missed the next 38. Then he played eight times in an 11-game stretch, followed by a six-game absence.
But he played in 20 of the team’s final 22 games of the regular season. He even tweaked his surgically repaired ankle in game No. 79 against the Thunder, but after missing two games he returned for the final game of the regular season. Then he averaged 7.2 ppg, 10.9 rpg and 1.5 bpg in 12 playoff contests, plunging his ankle into a bucket of ice water after each game.
Bogut has played in 20 games this season. If he can match his 2012-13 total by playing in the last 12 — although holding him out of the last four games seems like a smart plan, given his past — followed by a full playoff run, the Warriors would have to be considered serious title contenders. If he can’t go at all, or if he comes back too soon and experiences a setback, it won’t matter where the Warriors finish in the playoff seeding. I’m not sure if the Warriors think this way, but most observers (myself included) think of Bogut injuries as inevitable. Better to have this one occur now than in the spring, if given the choice … as long as the platelet-rich therapy does the trick, anyway.