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Andrew Bogut out indefinitely with rib fracture

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Golden State Warriors suffered a major blow to their playoff run when they learned Monday that starting center Andrew Bogut is out indefinitely with a fractured rib.

Bogut said he's been advised the rib is too close to his right lung for him to play through the pain because he would risking puncturing the lung. He originally suffered the injury against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday and it became worse in Sunday's overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. He took a pain killer before Sunday's game, but the injury worsened in the fourth quarter.

"I'm going to dedicate the summer to learning how to play while avoiding contact at all costs, I guess – moving out of the way, not taking charges and not trying to block shots," Bogut said. "All of my injuries have been high-impact injuries. I put my body on the line to try to take a charge or a block a shot, and unfortunately, I've been on the tail end of them. There are some players in the league who are very good strategically at avoiding contact, so I guess I need to watch them and bring that into my game."

Bogut is averaging 7.3 points, 10 rebounds and 1.8 blocks this season and has been a strong defensive and physical presence. Bogut was wearing a sling prior to Monday night's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"It certainly doesn't make us a better basketball team, but we move forward," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "We are a no excuse team. It's going to be a great opportunity for somebody else, somebody else I believe in. … Certainly with how hard [Bogut] has worked and how much a professional he has been and how much he means to this basketball team and our success, it's certainly disappointing."

The Warriors had a 9-4 record without Bogut this season prior to Monday's game. Golden State entered Monday with a 4-1 record with reserve center Jermaine O'Neal starting. Starting forward David Lee is working his way back into the lineup after missing seven games with a hamstring injury. Lee has already started three games at center with the Warriors winning twice. Marreese Speights and possibly Festus Ezeli could also see time.

Ezeli has missed the entire season while recovering from offseason right knee surgery, but he began playing one-on-one on Monday. The next step for the 6-foot-11, 255 pounder would be five-on-five play. Ezeli is hopeful he can return for the Warriors' postseason, which will begin Saturday or Sunday. He averaged 2.4 points and 4 rebounds as a rookie last season.

Ezeli "will not play until he can play five-on-five and get involved in practice at this point," Jackson said. "The one-on-one and going live is a different level than he's been doing. We will stay true to the process."

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