OAKLAND, Calif. - Golden State Warriors centre Andrew Bogut has a fractured right rib that could keep him out for the start of the playoffs — and possibly all of the post-season.
The team said Wednesday night that an X-ray revealed the injury. Warriors coach Mark Jackson and Bogut both said he's out indefinitely and gave no timetable for his return.
Speaking in a sombre tone in his corner of the locker room, though, Bogut said he has done enough research and spoken to enough doctors that he will not come back until the rib heals.
"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," Bogut said. "It's one of those things people have played through, but this is too close to comfort for me."
Bogut said he first felt the injury when Denver's Kenneth Faried elbowed him in a loss to the Nuggets last Thursday. The symptoms continued against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, he said, and he took a pain-killing injection before playing at Portland on Sunday night.
Bogut left the overtime loss to the Trail Blazers in the fourth quarter after getting sandwiched by two players. He said he can't take deep breaths and is pain anytime he coughs or sneezes — let alone tries to run.
"It definitely wasn't as bad until I fully cracked it," Bogut said. "I thought I was winded for a second, but it wasn't going away. I ended up going back in the game for the last possession (of regulation). I don't know how."
Backup centre Jermaine O'Neal was starting in Bogut's place Monday night against Minnesota. Jackson also said he also could slide power forward David Lee to centre if needed depending on the matchup in the playoffs.
Last year's backup centre, Festus Ezeli, has been out all season recovering from right knee surgery and remains day to day. Jackson also indicated that reserve centres Hilton Armstrong and Ognjez Kuzmic are likely not options.
"It certainly does not make us a better basketball team," Jackson said of Bogut's absence.
Golden State's centre is hardly the only one ailing at the worst time of the season.
Starting small forward Andre Iguodala sat out Monday night with right knee tendinitis that he has said is something he will have to deal with for the rest of the season. Lee is playing with a nerve injury in his right hamstring/back right and O'Neal has been coping with pain in his wrist and knees.
Harrison Barnes started for Iguodala against the Timberwolves. The Warriors visit Denver in their regular-season finale Wednesday night before the playoffs begin Saturday or Sunday.