The Warriors announced after Thursday’s practice they were shutting down Andrew Bogut for 7 to 10 days. The point is to strengthen his left ankle, which is still recovering from surgery in April.
After hearing Bogut talk about it, he is clearly frustrated, disappointed and fed up. While the rest of Warriors fans are encouraged by his production despite being limited, he can’t get past being limited. While the Warriors could use the little he brings, he can’t stomach bringing so little.
So, Bogut wants to take the time off to build his ankle up. And no one disagrees, especially based on how painfully obvious it is he’s not healthy. Here is Bogut in his own words.
Did you make this decision or did the doctors?
“We’ve just been playing it ear. … I probably came back a little early because I wanted to test the ankle out and really see where I was at. Probably a little too soon. But that’s what I wanted to do. It wasn’t the Warriors pushing me or anybody pushing me. It was myself trying to be out there and see how it responds. But my rehab progress has plateau’d a little bit. It hasn’t gotten worse but it hasn’t gotten better this last week, as much as I’d like it to. It’s still a little bit of a struggle to push off the ankle. It’s more just power and quick movement stuff I’m struggling with. I feel like I’m a liability out there because I can’t rebound, I can’t move the way I like to move. So we’re going to try to get it right the next 7 to 10 days, see how it responds.
So it can’t get better if your playing?
I think that’s what we’re thinking because my rehab arrow was going up, and then the more games I’ve been playing, it’s kind of just flattened out. I haven’t seen the progress of it getting better. I still get a little bit of swelling and soreness afterward. My concern isn’t really the pain at the moment. It’s more so the power moves that I can’t do because I can’t push off that left leg like I like. Rebounds right next to me and I can’t get that quick push off to get to the ball. So I just feel like there’s no point in laboring out there right now. For the next 7 to 10 days, get some rest and more strengthening than I’ve have been doing and see how it responds.
Is there a reason to think 7 to 10 days would do the trick?
No, it’s just a number we through out there in the blue. (laughs). I mean, there’s no right formula for this. So in 7 to 10 days, I could be ready. I could be ready in 5 or 6 days. But I might not be ready for another two weeks. We just don’t know. But 7 to 10 days is that number we think we’ll be able to reevaluate things and see how it is. Until I can comfortably jump off my left foot like I normally can, I think we’ll still be trying to strengthen it.
It’s unanimous that the team is better when you’re out there. How come you aren’t as encouraged?
Because I can do a lot more. I’m real disappointed with the way I’ve been playing. Part of it’s obviously the ankle but it’s not an excuse. I don’t want to go out on an NBA floor and use the ankle as an excuse for my performance. At the same time, I’m not just sitting out the next couple of games just because my numbers are bad. I’m not a numbers guy. I don’t care about numbers. We’re 3-2, that’s the main thing. But I don’t think I’m helping the team being out there as much as I can because I’m somewhat limited. I’d rather come back where I can really help the team much more than I am right now and then see how we go. And then Hopefully when I come back I’m not stuck at (20) minutes a game again. Maybe they can lift that off me or we can kind of adjust that a little bit with another 10 days rest. What a lot of people forget is I had two full practices before the first game, so I probably rushed into it a little bit. That’s why minutes were limited, so we’ve got to reevaluate things.
Do you initiate this?
Every thing’s been open dialogue. No one told me I should start. I made the decision by myself with the help of GM, coach and trainers. Same situation now. We’ve been in dialogue with coach Jackson, GM, my agent, with the doc, with our trainers, collectively we thought let us settle down for 7 to 10 days, get back in the weight room, see how we go. I haven’t had a chance to rehab because we’ve been playing games. Playing 20 minutes a game, doing shootarounds and practices. Can’t spend another 2 hours per day trying to get it strong. We thought we’d pass that earlier but obviously we haven’t. I need to get it a lot stronger than it is so I’m confident. Not all physically, but mentally too. I’m confident if there’s a loose ball, I can push off on my left ankle as much as I like, to go for that loose ball, or get that rebound, that blocked shot.
No travel? NO practice?
Not so much rest,. More like rigorous rehab, just strengthening the ankle as much as we can. Really lifting up the workload of getting the ankle strong. … Everything will remain the same and hopefully start practicing within a week. Just building it back up and seeing how it responds.
Are you disappointed or encouraged by your progress?
I’m obviously disappointed. I want to play basketball. It’s been a long road to get me back on the floor. I’ve tried it out now. I know how it feels on the floor, so now I’m going to be smart with it. I’ve tried to be a little bit of a hero early on and tried to push through some things that I probably shouldn’t have. But at least I know where I’m at now. I know what I need to do to get back into it and hopefully we’ll turn the corner.
Where is your sanity?
It’s tough. Very, very tough. Tough time in my life of sport, and even off the floor because it just weighs on my mind a lot. I know a lot of people are expecting me to be what I’m supposed to be. It hasn’t come to that yet. It’s going to take me a while to come to the top of my game so people will say good things about me. It is frustrating. All I can do is take it day-by-day.
Will you hold out until you are yourself again?
This isn’t a situation where I’m like, ‘Damn I’m not getting numbers. I’m going to sit out until I do.’ I don’t care (about that). I’d rather win. But I feel like I’m a liability out there right now at certain parts of the game. I just don’t feel like I can get that explosiveness off my ankle that I’d like. I don’t want it to be a situation where I’m taking away from my teammates who are probably playing better than me at the moment. And I’m just playing because they’re trying to get me healthy when we’re trying to win games. That’s the main concern right now.
So once you can do more on that ankle, you’ll be fine to play?
If I can get out there, I can get to that rebound like I know I can, quickly, I feel like I’ll be out there again. But if I’m out there and I’m second guessing whether I can push off it or not, kind of limping and making faces like I have been, it’s probably not the right time to be out there.
How is the swelling and pain?
It’s day to day. It swells up at times. It’s times where I get swelling … That’s the biggest thing I’ve probably haven’t managed as well because when you have swelling that means something’s wrong. So you’ve got to kind of be very, very careful with that. Obviously when you get swelling, the muscle shuts down and you’re laboring a bit more. Then that can cause more issues in other areas of the body. So there is some swelling issues every now and then, especially flying and do all those things. But that’s to be expected. That’s nothing out of the ordinary. That’s a pretty in-depth surgery that I had so there is going to be some swelling from time to time.
How difficult is it to balance your competitiveness with being smart?
Very tough because you never want to be seen as a puss who’s just sitting on the sideline and is hurt all the time. At the same time, like I said, you don’t want to be a hero and try to play through something and do more damage so. It’s a fine line right now but I think I crossed that line a little bit trying to play through it. Now, I’ve just got to be smart with it. However long it takes, it takes. I can’t control that now.