Kwame Brown will have to undergo surgery, the team announced today, that will keep him out at east three months. That puts Brown’s return well into April, barring no setbacks. The regular season ends for the Warriors on April 26.
The MRI performed yesterday revealed a torn pectoralis major (the large chest muscle that attaches to his right shoulder). Surgery has not been scheduled, but it is expected in the next few day.
LARRY RILEY (in release): “Obviously, we’re very disappointed, especially for Kwame, who was playing extremely well and had worked diligently since his arrival. In a short time, he had proven to be the anchor to our low post defense and certainly lived up to his reputation as one of the top interior defenders in the NBA. He had provided us a big, physical presence in the middle, which is something that we’ve lacked in the past. Unfortunately, surgery of this nature typically requires, approximately, a three-month recovery period.”
The injury occurred at the 6:22 mark of the fourth quarter during the Warriors’ game against the Miami Heat on Tuesday when he fouled Udonis Haslem.
Brown, 29, was averaging 6.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game. He started each of the team’s last three games, averaging 9.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in those contests.
Golden State, down to just center Andris Biedrins, may have to go get a big man. That could mean the end of point guard Ish Smith’s stint with the Warriors. Golden State is currently at the maximum of 15 players, which means they would need to waive someone. Smith is the most likely option since the Warriors have three point guards (Stephen Curry, Charles Jenkins and Nate Robinson), not including Monta Ellis, who spends some time at point guard.
Who is available? Hilton Armstrong (playing in France), Earl Barron (waived by Portland just before start of the season), former Warriors center Chris Hunter (waived by Knicks on Christmas Eve), Dwayne Jones (who got called up several times from the DLeague) and D.J. Mbenga (another former Warrior).
UPDATE: Excellent point by FloorBurn in that the Warriors could re-visit Kyrylo Fesenko. He was still recovering from his injury, I’m told, the last time the Warriors worked him out. Maybe he’s that much better now. He certainly brings some of the physicality the Warriors liked in Kwame.