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.