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Warriors' Curry, Bogut to have ankle surgery

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Associated Press
4/21/2012 7:26:19 PM
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors had big off-season plans for Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut.

It looks as if they're going to need a new blueprint now.

Curry and Bogut are each headed for another surgery on their injured ankles, casting a shadow over the future of Golden State's new franchise tandem.

General manager Larry Riley said Saturday that arthroscopic surgery on Curry's troublesome right ankle will be "exploratory" to see if a more serious operation is needed again. He called the scope on Bogut's fractured left ankle to clean up loose particles "routine" and ruled out any possibility the 7-foot centre would play for Australia's Olympic team this summer.

Curry had surgery to repair a tendon in his ankle last summer. He repeatedly sprained the ankle this season while playing only 26 games, the last coming against Dallas on March 10.

"It's an important part of the process," Golden State coach Mark Jackson said before Saturday night's game in Houston. "The main thing is to have those guys at 100 per cent, and if this is the part that needs to be done today, then put them in that position and so be it. I'm happy that we're getting closer to that point."

Jackson would not give a timetable for either player's expected recovery.

"(I'm) excited that this part is taking place," Jackson said, "and we're moving towards those guys being healthy."

Curry said recently he would do everything possible to avoid another surgery. After consulting with at least three different doctors, Riley said Curry, his family, agent and the team agreed it was best for the franchise point guard and former Davidson star to go back under the knife.

"The MRIs are conclusive to some degree, and not totally conclusive," Riley said. "The advice of the doctors is we will know best if we do the scope and take a look at it and see if anything needs to be done from there."

Bogut's operation seems far less serious.

Riley said there "appears to be some small, very small loose particles and even possibly some scar tissue, which can be cleaned out with a scope." Bogut, acquired in a trade that sent leading scorer Monta Ellis to Milwaukee on March 13, could be back to basketball activities as soon as six weeks.

"I characterize it as something that is as much a preventive thing than anything else," Riley said of Bogut's surgery.

Both operations will be done by Dr. Richard Ferkel in the Los Angeles suburb of Van Nuys, with Curry scheduled for Wednesday and Bogut on Friday. At least one member of the Warriors medical staff will be involved in the surgery process, the team said.

"I am very disappointed to announce my withdrawal from the 2012 Olympic Games," Bogut wrote on Twitter. "After seeing a specialist I have decided it would be best to get my ankle cleaned out via arthroscopic surgery. There is simply not enough time to rehab and be fully fit for the Games."

The Warriors, who had promised the playoffs before the season, are back to preaching patience.

Golden State has gone all-in on a Curry-led backcourt, parting ways with a fan favourite -- and top scorer -- when the team sent Ellis to the Bucks in a move that netted Bogut, who already had been ruled out for the season after fracturing his left ankle Jan. 25 against Houston.

The Warriors have lost a season-high seven straight and 19 of 23 heading into Saturday night's game at Houston. Jackson has never really had a chance to show what he could do this season, with injuries gutting Golden State from the start.

That has become a tired act for Warriors fans -- still amazingly among the NBA's most loyal bases in the basketball-booming Bay Area despite only one playoff appearance since 1994 -- who now have to suffer through the latest injury setbacks.

Curry averaged career lows of 14.7 points, 5.3 assists and 3.4 rebounds. Selected seventh overall in 2009 by Golden State, his career has been blended with incredible scoring efforts and confounding injuries on an ankle nobody can seem to fix.

Curry even went to Nike headquarters in Oregon at one point this season to get a custom-fitted shoe for his right foot. He also vowed to wear a brace next season -- something he had previously resisted -- and be more forthcoming to the team on any injuries to his ankle.

Complicating matters even more, Curry is eligible for a contract extension this summer.

He is finishing the third season of his four-year rookie deal, and Golden State can sign Curry to an extension by Oct. 31. Riley remained mum on those talks, however, it seems unlikely either side would do a deal before next season with the ongoing injury raising concerns for Golden State and driving down Curry's worth.

Bogut's career has followed a similar path.

The 2005 No. 1 overall pick missed the end of the 2009-10 season when he dislocated his right elbow, sprained his right wrist and broke his right hand in a hard fall to the floor. The injury bothered him for much of last season. He also missed significant time with an injured lower back in the 2008-09 season.

When Bogut has played, he has played well.

In 408 career games, he is averaging 12.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots. Golden State has long lacked an inside presence, and the team is counting on the 27-year-old Australian to anchor the team back to the playoffs.

Stephen Curry (Photo: Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images)
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