Andrew Bogut considers spending a lonely week in the politically correct Bay Area (Rocky Widner/ Getty).
When the Golden State Warriors traded for Andrew Bogut last March, they knew that they wouldn't see him in uniform during the 2011-12 season. Bogut was recovering from season-ending ankle surgery, and that was fine. It was a move for the future, an attempt to give the franchise a defensive foundation and build a perennial playoff team. The assumption was that Bogut would return for the beginning of this campaign and be a meaningful interior presence.
That plan has only come to partial fruition. While Bogut has suited up for the Warriors in four of their first five games, he's averaged only 18.3 minutes and has already been ruled out of playing in the second game of back-to-back contests. Now, as Bogut continues to struggle with his health, he will be shut down for at least a week. From Marcus Thompson for the Contra Costa Times:
The Warriors have announced they are shutting down center Andrew Bogut for the next 7 to 10 days. [...]
Golden State head coach Mark Jackson said it wasn't a setback, that the Warriors were giving Bogut time to strengthen his ankle.
"He doesn't feel like he's 100 percent,"Jackson said, "and he's clearly not."
Bogut said he was frustrated because he can't do what he normally does on the court. He said he's tired of being limited and it's not right that he's taking minutes so he can rehab in games.
He said he has limited power in his left ankle, preventing him from pushing off when needed. He also said he's battling pain and periodic swelling. The conclusion was made that his ankle won't get better while he's playing, so he's going to take this time off to see how much that helps. [...]
"I can do more," Bogut said. "I don't feel like I'm helping the team."
This decision should make a lot of sense to anyone who's watched the Warriors this season. While Bogut has been the team's best interior defender, he also looks hobbled and not near his best. On top of that, if Bogut is meant to be a long-term solution to the Warriors' recent defensive problems, then there's no use in keeping him on the court for relatively minor short-term benefits.
On the other hand, the time period suggested by Bogut and the franchise for his recovery seems fairly arbitrary. Bogut could heal and be ready for a full load of minutes within two weeks, but there's really no sense in setting an end point for his time away that may not end up being the correct amount of rest. What if Bogut needs three weeks or a month off? Will the Warriors bring him back after 10 days simply because that's what they agreed upon now?
The Warriors obviously want Bogut in the lineup, if only because the trade that brought him to the Bay Area needs to reap rewards for the sake of the franchise's credibility. But there's a balance to be struck between getting Bogut on the floor and making sure he's healthy enough to play something resembling starter's minutes. There's no use in forcing the former if the latter remains questionable in perpetuity.
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