Warriors fans have been worried about center Andew Bogut’s recovery for some time now. With reason, too. Unlike with point guard Stephen Curry, who seemed to hit every projected timeline, Bogut’s injury seems to be a bit on the hush. That has to be unnerving for a fan base who has been sold on Bogut being worth giving up a star and enduring last year’s losing.
Sure, he had surgery in April in part to ensure he’d be ready for camp. Yes, his status changed from to going slow in camp and making sure he’s ready for the regular season. And now, all the plans and expectations seem to be hopes and ideals. The reality is this: Bogut won’t play until he’s healthy. No one knows exactly when that is because it’s largely based on how Bogut feels. And until he says “I feel spectacular, no issues,” they’re probably going to keep the reins on him. The Warriors are going to be cautious about because he is 7-foot (which means his foot injuries are more delicate) and it’s a long season (which means rushing him back prematurely isn’t quite necessary).
Monday’s examination with Richard Ferkel, the doctor who performed Bogut’s arthroscopic surgery in April, was scheduled and not the result of some set back. He could get the green light (and sometimes, when he’s working on the side, he looks like he’s not limited at all) on Monday or he could be told he’s making progress but he needs more time. But it couldn’t have been schedule too long ago as this visit seems to exclude Bogut from playing a preseason game. The Warriors had hopes he would play at least one or two so he wouldn’t have to jump into the regular season cold turkey after having not played since January.
Bogut hasn’t been cleared to practice, which means he will have to do his usual work on the side for today’s practice as well as Saturday and Sunday in Los Angeles. Mark Jackson’s rule is you can’t play unless you can practice. After Sunday, the Warriors play a Monday-Tuesday back-to-back and then the preseason’s over. Bogut could be an exception to the rule, get a few minutes Monday if the exam goes well, and a few more minutes Tuesday against Phoenix in the preseason. But that means he’ll have to be 100 percent. Warriors officials are saying they don’t see any sense in running him out there for a preseason game and risking re-injury. The regular season may be a different story, but the preseason just isn’t worth it to them.
If Bogut is cleared on Monday, and he’s held out of the preseason games, he will have seven days to get to as close to game shape as possible. But if somehow he isn’t ready, don’t be surprised if the Warriors hold him out of the opener, too. GM Bob Myers, coach Mark Jackson, their M.O. is to be cautious and to look at the big picture. Curry can attest to that.
It won’t sound good to say to a fan base clamoring to see Bogut play, but he won’t get out there until he’s ready. No pain. No swelling. No limited mobility. They want to make sure this thing is behind him. That might be Oct. 31. Or it might not be.