Aussies in NBA: Bogut out with bone bruise in right knee

A challenging season for Andrew Bogut just got even more difficult.

After limping off the court during Tuesday's contest against the Charlotte Hornets, Bogut has been ruled out of action due to bone bruising in his right knee. ESPN is reporting that a best case scenario will see Bogut return to the court in 10 days to two weeks.

Bogut was injured when Roy Hibbert fell into his leg after Mavericks wing Justin Anderson drove to the basket during the final minute of the first quarter. The seven foot Australian immediately clutched his right knee as he crumpled to the ground.

Despite getting back on his feet moments later, Bogut limped straight to the locker room and played no further part in the game. In what can only be seen as a saving grace, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle was relieved to see his big center stumbling off the court. "We don't think it's terribly serious," Carlisle said after the Hornets game. "At this point, it appears we dodged a bullet."

For his part, Hibbert was remorseful and offered Bogut a very public apology over Twitter.

Bogut's injury presents the Mavericks with another obstacle as the franchise approaches a pivotal point in the season. Sitting last in the Western Conference with a poultry 4-16 record, the Mavericks have just a few short weeks to save their season, something Bogut admitted to the American media over the weekend.

The Dallas injury ward has been busy all season, with Dirk Nowitzki (Achilles tendon) still out of action indefinitely and guard J.J. Barea (calf) sidelined for at least another fortnight.

There has been recent trade speculation about Bogut, and this will only increase should the Mavericks continue to slide. Bogut, a 12-year NBA veteran, is a proven, championship-caliber big man who could seamlessly compliment a number of contenders.

Bogut is also in the final season of his contract and headed for free agency in the new year. Hopefully this latest setback won't impact his ability to collect one final NBA payday.