Andrew Bogut and the Microfracture Mystery

As it turns out, Warriors center Andrew Bogut did have microfracture surgery on his left ankle in April. But, according to team sources, it’s not the same as the alarming procedure we learned about through the likes of Penny Hardaway, Chris Webber and Greg Oden.

Well, it’s the same surgery. Just not the same situation.

“Some people go in for microfracture surgery. This wasn’t that,” one source said pointing out that players who are experiencing chronic and degenerative problems turn to microfracture surgery.

Bogut, on the other hand,¬† went in to get his left ankle cleaned out of scar tissue and bone fragments. When Dr. Richard Ferkel was inside, he noticed a “minor” cartilage issue and he addressed it with a form of microfracture surgery. The major part of the surgery, the source said, was cleaning out the debris.

The important thing, another source said, is the microfracture surgery part of the procedure was accounted for when Ferkel gave the Warriors his timetable for Bogut’s return.

Even though Golden State failed to mention the microfracture¬† part — probably because the words “microfracture surgery” comes with a stigma they didn’t want out there — and even though the Warriors initially said Bogut would be out for three months, nothing has changed from what Ferkel said.

He was given the OK to test out his ankle after 6 months (which put him back to practice on Oct. 27). He was to be limited when he came back, hence the minutes limit and the prohibition of back-to-back sets. The rest would be determined by how his ankle responded and how he felt.

When Bogut decided to shut it down earlier this month, everything really shifted to “he’ll be back when he’s back” mode. Now, Warriors officials are avoiding any timetables. Several in the organization were hopeful Bogut would keep playing at a limited capacity because he still gave the Warriors something. But once he pulled back, they had no choice but to exercise patience.

As I previously reported, Golden State management was expecting for Bogut to be out until December even though the initial evaluation timeline given was 7 to 10 days. And nobody would be shocked if he didn’t return until 2013. Bogut suggested as much today when he told reporters he wasn’t close to ready.

Bottom line: Bogut’s ankle was kind of a mess when Ferkel went in; the doc knew all along it would take a long time; and the Warriors (and Bogut) were in denial — at least aggressively hopeful — that Ferkel was being conservative. He wasn’t.

Marcus Thompson

  • Zak

    And if he doesn’t return to full time playing until next season which is foreseeable with 2 months of solid play to get in premium shape even after he comes back… are the Dubs better off? Will he not almost assuredly want to leave as a FA? So OK they got SOMETHING out of the trade, but if Bogut leaves the same hole still exists and it’ll be a lot of mediocre seasons and few lottery picks to get a true big man again.

  • Steve

    Zak, Bogut is under contract through next season. He doesn’t become a FA until 2014. Besides, if he regains his full health, and he’s playing well, and the Warriors are playing well/winning, why would Bogut “almost assuredly want to leave as a FA”?

  • I think GSW (mis)management should have been more reticent in this entire approach. They should have exercised more caution & @ least “elude” to the recovery timeframe more in line with 12 months from the initial injury. That puts Bogut out until mid to late January.

    Why should a catastrophic injury like that suffered by Bogut be minimized in comparison to an ACL or patella knee injury? Of course this would have led to speculation to the ill fated “microfracture” reference but medial & fan pressure would have been alleviated. . .& pressure from all parties involved upon Bogut would have been minimized. A Bogut on one limb for 65 + contests is worse than a Bogut on TWO limbs for 50-55 games. This is unchartered water, to be sure; but I think GSW (mis)management would hedge against further setbacks & maximizing his long term effectiveness (and retaining his long term FA services) byt erring on the side of caution; which should have been the tact from day one. . .

    Can’t see how an effective team like the Warriors are hoping for (every indication is that sans Bogut the W’s can be that team. . .thank you Stephen Curry, knock on wood, Harrison Barnes & his fellow rookies & Klay Thompson)if they are successful in their San Francisco relocation strategy wouldn’t be attractive to a healthy & contributing Bogut. But unneeded outside pressure would contribute to Bogut’s own relocation strategy. . .

  • daniel

    I guess the W’s and/or Meyers/Lacob lied to the fans and the media. It was a coverup from the start.

    Microfracture surgery is serious. It is almost as serious as ACL surgery. The recovery time is one year.

    We all thought he had a broken ankle and that was it.


    I love all the haters that post on here. So the team did did not give a full epxlanation of a procedure and you idiots think it was some sort of conspiracy. After reading your posts no wonder the Warriors just gave a basic medical report. Your all idiots! Keep up the good work Joe and Peter and it is OK to withhold anything you like as most of your so called fans are dimwits anyways!

  • Jscrilla

    Lets all relax a little bit. Didnt the NBA just remove the Center position from All Star balloting? Teams are getting faster and deeper at the Forward position. Look at the Heat, look at OKC. Under this current criteria Festus/Biedrins/and a stacked Forward line-up is more than effective than a banging center who will give you 8pts.

  • DW

    They Lied. Period. And it’s a wonder why Lacob got booed.

  • wolfman

    With Rush out, and Bogut out, I think next year will be our year, provided both are completely healthy for next season. Injuries are sad fact in the NBA, lose key guys and you struggle. most of the time. What has got me feeling good about the Warriors though is we are 8-6 – even with two top pieces sidelined! Why has this happened? Good coaching, a nice draft this year – very nice really. Warriors are hitting boards, playing tenacious “D”, and these young players we have are stepping it up. Even Biedren’s is defending and getting rebounds, so there is a lot to like about this season, so far.

  • arrow

    Dubs fans should be pissed. The front office felt pressure to start him quickly, and caved to that pressure by putting out some overly optimistic info. Once those expectations are out there, Bogut feels the pressure and rushes back. Seems pretty simple to me…

    Would we have been pissed if he didn’t start right away? Sure we would’ve, but the fans don’t get to make that call.

    Either way, whats done is done. The only thing to be concerned about now is how far did we set him back by rushing him out there.

  • Dillymac

    Warriors do buisness just like the Raiders! They put garbage together and hope for the best! When guys are injured they tell you “Well he’s got a hang nail should be back tomorrow”

    Meanwhile injured guy misses the whole season.

    Sorry fellas just a fed up Warrior and Raider fan lashing out on my frustrations with these teams management!

  • Zak

    @Steve Yes i know he’s not a FA until 2014, that’s my point. The SOMETHING they’ll get out him in the 13-14 season will be in a contract year when getting him to stay will be a shy bet if he’s fully healthy.

    And if he doesn’t even start playing again until Jan, Feb as there’s suspicion, he won’t be in full game condition until the end of the year at best. So they won’t really know what they’ve got until he’s able to sell to the highest bidder. And while i don’t think Bogut is selfish or not a hard worker at all, i think the way of the biz will not push him to do too much this year, but rather focus on the payday after next season.

  • Dave

    Sounds like Doctor Ferkel simply did a poor job with the surgery.

  • RickP

    At the time of the April surgery, Bogut said he’d be back in August. Check the articles from last April.

  • Young

    This is immoral to say the least.

    They held the info so people would buy season tickets. Not knowning that Bogut was, most likely, out for an extended period.

    That’s a shady move….

  • Miguel

    I agree this is shady. They should have protected the player bottom line, which in turn would benefit the Warriors long term because A they would have a player back fully healthy and able to help them tremendously and B they would earn respect from other current and potential players that would see the Warriors as a class organization. Now they may have retarded his return the court by trying to rush things. Just ridiculous. They should have told the folks that shell out big bucks to support this team.

  • Joe Barely Cares

    Chill out!! When it comes down to it, sports are just part of the entertainment complex & I tiny lie of omission isn’t “weapons of mass destruction.” Save this kind of outrage for something that actually matters.

  • Playoffbound

    I hope that this is not another Ralph Samson all over again–gifted big man, washed up by a serios injury.

  • jerry b

    This is just another Dubs disaster. Did you REALLY think he was ever going to be ok? Of course not (or at least not the people who have followed this poor excuse for a team over the past 35 years). And lying to the fans is NOT ok….many people spent a lot of money on season tickets based on Bogut being there. Owning a pro sports team is not like owning a butcher shop – there is a quasi public trust involved because of public money being used for arenas, etc……so lying is a serious thing – not just something ownership can choose to do or not

  • Dubler

    Meanwhile, Monta is still pouring in the points and assists. He’s even d..ing it up. While watching klay and Stephan wondering if Monta was even the true defensive liability. Neither one of them can keep in front of their man and deny lanes. Neither of those guys can finish like Monta. If you want to get depressed watch some buck basketball.

  • steve lerner

    …”If”?, that’s an “I wish” scenario…what about the numerous if not possibilities?…such as Bogut not able to meet expectations, hot & cold Warriors play or any of a number of reasons for underperforming like one more serious injury…good thing there’s more depth to this team but wishing & hoping is no substitute for consistent play from starters & bench…

  • Ewok

    Just get him healthy. What other recourse do we have? Just get him healthy!

    I guess the recurring question behind the scenes is this, What are the chances of getting a healthy, 100%, Bogut? and When? That is the question Fans are asking right now and the front office should be honest enough to address this! The No Time Table response is very unsettling… So unnerving.

  • Glenn


    Can you please address who your “one source” is?

    As you can tell its becoming a he said / she said with Bogut and ownership. But your “one source” leads me to believe that he heard this from Ferkel’s mouth that microfracture surgery was a non event.

    And anyone who has had a broken bone knows, Doctors take the way way conservative route.

  • JeffD

    Just imagine if Warriors somehow pulled a miracle trade by getting a healthy Bogut for Ellis. Then Bogut’s ankle was injured in the very first game of the season and he would be out for the season.

    At least in the current situation, Bogut may hopefully have a chance to come back for the playoff (knock on wood…)