Bell has surgery, could be back before end of season

Going into surgery, Warriors guard Raja Bell was either expected to be out a few weeks or be out for the season. Now, that the surgery is complete, the projection is somewhere in between.

Bell had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left hand on Thursday in Charlotte. The damage was severe enough to rule out a speedy return.

But somehow, hope exists that Bell can return this year as he could be back in three months, the team announced. Bell's left wrist will be immobilized for six weeks followed by rehabilitation.

The team gave no explanation for the newfound hope that Bell would be back by March. He said before surgery that he could be out four to five months.

The Warriors could be hopeful for Bell's return, or they could be helping keep their options open. If Bell has a chance to return, teams might be more inclined to trade for him as he's an ideal player for a team looking for veteran help down the stretch.

A team source said the Warriors are interested in keeping Bell even if it turns out he is out for the season. In this, the final year of his contract, Bell is earning $5.25 million.

Bell's contract — combined with those of guard Speedy Claxton ($5.2 million), forward Devean George ($1.6 million) and center Mikki Moore ($1.3 million) — gives the Warriors a nice chunk of salary cap relief.


Advertisement

But the Warriors aren't opposed to re-signing Bell, the source said. They have been searching for a veteran player who can produce consistently. Plus, Bell has the defensive acumen and leadership qualities the Warriors need.

Bell may be held off the trade market unless the Warriors get an offer they can't refuse.

  • On Tuesday, the Warriors announced that second-year Anthony Randolph would be out seven to 14 days with a sprained left ankle, an injury he sustained Monday vs. Indiana. Thursday, they announced he was available. Randolph didn't play as the Warriors went with an eight-player rotation.

  • Guard Monta Ellis started Thursday but missed shootaround with a stomach ailment. He 5-for-12 at the break with four fouls. He picked up back-to-back offensive fouls in the final minute of the second quarter. ... George was on the active list for the first time this season. Bell went on the inactive list.

  • Thursday night, the Warriors donned the uniforms of the San Francisco Warriors from the 1962-23 season, the franchise's first on the West Coast. They are gold with red and yellow piping and "San Francisco" across the chest. They will wear these uniforms to every home game. For more information, go to www.warriors.com

    — MARCUS THOMPSON II