The Warriors got some bad news and good news on the injury front today. Actually, the media and fans received the news since the Warriors probably knew about all this a couple days ago.
After a day off on Tuesday, the Warriors reconvened at their facility. Absent during today’s practice were Andrew Bogut (right knee strain), and David Lee (left shoulder sprain). After Monday night’s loss to Indiana, Mark Jackson said Bogut “banged knees” with someone. He was okay to come back into the game after heading to the locker room for a spell, so the injury didn’t seem all that serious.
Lee’s shoulder ailment wasn’t mentioned by anyone after the game, and Jackson said today that he suffered the injury when guarding Roy Hibbert.
On the positive side, Jermaine O’Neal was practicing shots in the paint after practice when the media was allowed inside the gym, and he told us that he took part in his first practice since undergoing surgery on his right wrist. The session included some contact, and afterward O’Neal (whose wrist was taped) felt pretty good enough to give himself “a passing grade” both for how he performed and how his wrist held up.
“There’s some soreness. It was a very severe surgery. I don’t know how that was iterated to you guys. But the doctors did a great job on correcting the issue,” said O’Neal, who talked about what it has taken to get back to the court.
“I find myself at home doing the wall push-ups and doing everything I can do to expedite the process. I think that has helped. They gave me some printouts from the therapy office. I’m just trying to do those things around the clock and ice. It’s going to be sore for a while. The soreness is not what I’m looking to get rid of. Just being able to operate, catch the ball and finish. Also hold guys up, because if I can’t hold guys up then I can’t defend. If I can’t defend, that’s taking away one of my stronger attributes to this team.”
The Warriors, who were slaughtered on the offensive boards by the Indiana Pacers, could really use O’Neal’s defense and presence off the bench. However, O’Neal made sure to mention that the surgery he had back in mid-December usually leads to a “three to four month process” in terms of recovery.
Taking that into account, how soon can the Warriors expect to see O’Neal — who averaged 6.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 0.8 blocks while playing 18.6 minutes per game — back on the court? Jackson was noncommittal, but O’Neal sounded like he’d be back by mid-February at the latest.
“Today was the first day. It could be a week, it could be two weeks, could be three weeks, I don’t know. I just take it week to week,” said O’Neal.
“They do my strength gauge every week anyway, and it’s improved every week. It could be next week, I don’t know.”