The Golden State Warriors announced Monday that starting center Andrew Bogut is out indefinitely with a serious rib fracture.
The injury puts into question Bogut’s availability for the playoffs, which begin this weekend and it “doesn’t sound like he expects to play again this season or postseason,” according to The Mercury-News.
”I’ve got to be careful, because if it cracks I’m looking at a punctured lung. You’ll see me in the hospital with a tube coming out of me,” said Bogut. ”It’s one of those things people have played through, but this is too close to comfort for me.”
Bogut sustained the injury after getting sandwiched between two players during the fourth quarter of Golden State’s 119-117 overtime loss in Portland on Sunday. He already had some pain in the area after getting elbowed in the ribs by the Nuggets' Kenneth Faried last Thursday.
The 7-foot Australian exited Sunday's game with less than a minute remaining in regulation and did not return. A post-game X-ray revealed the extent of the complicated injury. Bogut said he can't take deep breaths and is pain anytime he coughs or sneezes — let alone try to run. The normal recovery time is at least six weeks.
Losing Bogut, one of the premier defensive big men in the league, could be a potentially crippling blow, although Golden State was 40-27 (.597) with him in the lineup and 9-4 (.692) without him. Bogut boasts a net rating of +9.1, and the Warriors have performed meaningfully better on both sides of the ball when he’s on the court. Golden State currently boasts the West’s stingiest defense, in large part due to his presence.
Should Bogut miss the postseason, Warriors coach Mark Jackson will be forced to turn to small ball lineups and/or rely more heavily on 35-year-old reserve center Jermaine O’Neal.
Jackson’s other options include power forwards Marreese Speights and Hilton Armstrong.
“[The injury] certainly does not make us a better basketball team,” Jackson said.