Boomers big man, Andrew Bogut has confirmed that he will likely not be in the green and gold this year.
The Golden State big man spoke to media during the Warriors’ shootaround earlier, in preparation for Game 6 of the NBA Finals later this morning, and suggested that his return would be tough, given the tight window leading up to Rio.
“I’m not great at math, but six to eight weeks minimum is what I’ve been told,” Bogut shared. “It’s very unlikely at this point, to be honest.”
The 2016 Summer Olympics will begin on 5 August, and conclude 21 August. Australia will be in group A, along with USA, China, Venezuela. There will be two openings, with the entrants determined from last chance tournaments in July.
Bogut, who is currently nursing a bone bruise (as confirmed by an earlier MRI scan), recalls the point of impact vividly, when Cleveland swingman JR Smith crashed into him in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Smith, who was interviewed earlier, called his action during the incident a “basketball play”.
“it’s not like I’m out there trying to take his legs out.”
Bogut is leaving the matter open to debate.
“I don’t know how he fell and all that, but tough for interpretation,” he said.
“Somehow he cannonballed right into my shin with his shoulder,” Bogut said. “It was painful. … I thought I blew out my knee, with the pain that I had.”
He heard the collision, and had originally thought he “blew out” his knee.
“I heard two cracks — that’s the bone on bone. It’s not worth much, but it could have been worse than it is, but it’s still pretty bad.”
The situation isn’t set in stone as yet, but Bogut feels a timely recovery might need a literal miracle.
“We are going to re-evaluate it in a month, and if a miracle happens and it feels great in a month and I can get back on the court, we’ll see. But as of now, it’s not looking good.”
What’s next for the Boomers
The Boomers’ training camp in Melbourne begins in mid-July. Following that, the team will be playing in a farewell series against the Pac-12 College All-Stars team, at the Hisense Arena on 12 July (Tuesday), and 14 July (Thursday).
Bogut has also confirmed that he will not be travelling to Brazil with the Boomers, should he not be part of the team.
“I’m not going to be traveling around, doing all that if I’m not playing.”
This isn’t a surprise. Bogut had expressed concern recently, and even considered withdrawing from the Boomers over Brazil’s Zika virus outbreak.
Bogut’s potential absence leaves the Boomers without a top-tier center who excels as both a rim protector, and as an offensive playmaker. During Game 2 of the Oceania series last year, Bogut recorded 10 points, 10 rebounds and an impressive +22 in +/- rating.
In saying that, the team’s depth will open up playing opportunities to his fellow Boomers. This includes David Andersen –who recently won a championship with ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne in the French Pro A League– and other big men like Aron Baynes, Nathan Nawai and Cameron Bairstow.
Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis has expressed his support for Bogut, and confirms that the center’s health is top priority.
“We will continue to work with and support Andrew during the rehab phase, providing whatever he needs to ensure his recovery is a complete success.
“The welfare of the player is always the most important consideration. I am thankful that the injury is not one that requires surgery and is predicted to have him out of the game for only a short period.
“Of course, if the recovery happens quicker than expected, then we will work with the circumstances in front of us and see what it means at that point in time.
“Dealing with injuries is a reality of any campaign. As a team, we have tremendous depth of talent and a wonderful spirit. We will continue to build and adapt as a group and I have great confidence that we will find a way to be successful.”