OAKLAND -- The good news is that Andrew Bogut was back on the practice court Tuesday at the Warriors' downtown facility. The bad news is he wasn't really practicing, and still has no idea when he'll be able to play in a game.
Bogut, who has missed the last nine games, continues to be plagued by soreness and swelling in his surgically repaired left ankle. The 7-foot center won't play Thursday night's home game against Denver, and while it was thought he might be available for Saturday's game against the Indiana Pacers, he ruled himself out of that one, too.
"That's not going to happen, I can say that right now," Bogut said. "I'm not going to play Saturday, and I'm still a ways off. It's an interesting rehab because there's not a timeline for it. Once you get that swelling down, then you're ready to play basketball. But if I engage in strenuous activity for 2-3 days, then my ankle still swells up."
While Bogut rejoined the team at practice, he spent most of his time doing light running and touch shooting on his own away from the team's drills.
"It's still sore and it's just not right yet," he said. "When I try to train for extended periods, it just doesn't respond well. Until I can get through a week's worth of full practices, I'm back to where I am now."
Bogut spent last week in Los Angeles rehabbing his ankle under the supervision of Dr. Richard Ferkel, who performed the surgery on Bogut in April. Bogut also received daily
Bogut admitted he might have delayed his recovery a bit by trying to play at the season's outset. Even though he maintained he didn't do any structural damage by appearing in four of the team's first five games, the swelling in his ankle prohibited him from fully following his rehab protocol.
"It was probably my mistake early on," he said. "The team was very supportive, but I wanted to play the first game of the season. If I hadn't played a game yet, I'd be asking myself, `Could I have played?' Now I know that I shouldn't have tried.
"I don't know if it set me back," he added. "I think it just gave me a warning to tell me that it wasn't ready. I don't think I did any damage. The scans all showed up great, but I have a lot of scar tissue and deep bone bruises in there. So when I engage in strenuous activity, it swells up and that leads to all kinds of other issues."
Without question, Bogut's frustration level is heightening with each missed practice and game. He said it is only slightly assuaged by the fact that the Warriors have managed to post a winning record despite his absence.
"People look at you and they think, `Why aren't you ready?' " he said. "Everybody who goes through rehab knows the feeling. You feel like you're letting the team down in a way and letting the fans and organization down. You just try to stay positive throughout it, and just make sure that you get the ankle right."
Coach Mark Jackson understands Bogut's frustration and impatience, but maintained the club isn't pushing him whatsoever to make a hasty return.
"The main thing we have to do is keep him around and keep him involved," Jackson said. "We're not pressuring him. I want him back when he's healthy. You get uncomfortable and more frustrated when you put pressure on yourself to try and rush it back. Take your time, get the proper treatment, get healed and healthy, and then we can use you on the floor. But we don't want you before that."
Bogut did say he believes once his ankle does respond, he thinks he can jump in and contribute significant minutes right away because he's doing everything he can to sustain the highest level of conditioning possible.
"I come in here 2½ hours before the rest of the guys come in and I'm on the treadmill, the bike and the elliptical," he said. "I'm just trying to do anything I can to keep myself in shape. When I'm ready to play, I'll be ready to play. I won't need 3-4 weeks to get in game condition."
Bogut is trying to help in other ways, too, including helping out rookie center Festus Ezeli whenever he feels he needs it.
"He's a really good kid, he works hard and he really wants to be a better player," he said. "He's from a different country much like me, so I kind of know the adjustments he's making to life in the NBA."
- The Warriors are now 8-1 when they out-rebound opponents and 0-5 when they don't. The key is they're outrebounding opponents more often than not this season after finishing last in the Western Conference and 28th in the league in rebounding last season.
Jackson believes his team had an epiphany after a 107-101 home overtime loss to Denver on Nov. 10 that if it needed to make a stronger commitment to rebounding.
"The Denver game really taught us lesson," Jackson said. "The guys realized if we don't rebound collectively, we're not going to win ballgames.
- The Warriors are now tied atop the Pacific Division with the Los Angeles Clippers at 8-6, the latest date they've been in first place since the 2005-06 season.