Andrew Bogut got the ball on the left low block, with Pau Gasol on his back. He took a couple dribbles towards the middle then spun back to his left, dropping in the left hand hook. This was at the 9:26 mark of the first quarter.
Running back down court, Bogut began to grimace and hold his lower back. Moments later, he was taken out of the game. He limped straight to the locker room. Not exactly a sight Warriors fans wanted to see.
Bogut was done for the night, knocked out of the second and final preseason game with lower back spasms. No word on the severity of the spasms, but safe to say the 12 hours of flying back to the United States will be uncomfortable.
Bogut played just 32 games last season. And though he was pivotal to the Warriors’ playoff success, he was laboring all 12 games in the postseason. But he said he was fully healthy after recuperating in the offseason. He’d lost nearly 20 pounds and clearly chiseled up. He said he was in the best shape he’d been in the last two years.
He has made it clear to point out his injury history, which has caused him to miss 104 regular season games the last two seasons, was the result of “freak” injuries. But this was hardly that.
This isn’t Bogut’s first back issues. He missed time last season thanks to a protruding disc in his back. He missed 43 games in 2008-09 with a lower back injury.
Bogut, who is currently negotiating a contract extension with Warriors’ management, was clearly frustrated at this latest brush with injury. It appeared he was expecting to stay in the game. He was attuned on the ensuing defensive possession, defending Gasol. Then as play stopped, he looked to be trying to stretch out his back by lifting his knees. He never asked to come out.
Coach Mark Jackson summoned Marreese Speights to check in seconds after he saw Bogut favoring his back. But when Speights checked into the game, Bogut appeared to wave him off at first before eventually jogging off straight to the locker room.