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News » Bogut eyes quick return He had similar injury before

Bogut eyes quick return He had similar injury before

Bogut eyes quick return  He had similar injury before By CHARLES F. GARDNER

Andrew Bogut has been down this path before and returned quickly after suffering a painful leg injury.

Now the 7-foot Milwaukee Bucks center hopes he can do it again.

Bogut collided with New Jersey's Sean Williams late in the game Wednesday night and sustained a contusion and strained ligaments in his lower left leg.

After a visit to Bucks team doctor Michael Gordon on Thursday, Bogut learned the bad news. He would be out two to four weeks.

"I had a similar injury my second year when I got hurt in the (open team) scrimmage," Bogut recalled Friday. "I missed the whole training camp. They said eight to 10 weeks and I was back in four.

"This is not as bad. Hopefully I can take the challenge up and try to beat that two to four weeks, if I can. It's painful at the moment; I can't really walk."

Bogut will not accompany the Bucks on their four-game road trip which starts Saturday night in Memphis, but instead will stay home to begin conditioning work in the swimming pool next week.

He admitted to feeling a huge amount of frustration, after he had started the season quite well and recovered from the stress fracture in his lower back that sidelined him for the final 31 games last season.

"To have an injury of this magnitude is something I really can't control, and getting hit from that side unexpectedly," Bogut said. "A lot of people will say I'm always getting hurt and this and that. It's a frustrating time for me."

Bogut had scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against the Nets before limping off the court.

"I tried to run through it for about 2 minutes," Bogut said. "I knew something was wrong because I had an immense amount of pain. It was one of those freak things. He got me at the right angle, at the right spot.

"The ligaments are inflamed and damaged and I've got to rest."

Bogut said he believes he will miss from five to 12 games. The Bucks play nine games during the next two weeks, including six on the road.

Following that stretch, they have four games in the second week of December, including matchups with Cleveland and Boston.

Bogut hopes the Bucks can sustain their early season success without him in the lineup. He was averaging 16.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks through the first nine games.

"I think he will do a good job," Bogut said of Dan Gadzuric, who will take over the starting center role. "And (Kurt) Thomas is a great backup to have as well. I have faith in my teammates."

Bucks coach Scott Skiles saw his team fade from the Eastern Conference playoff race when Bogut and Michael Redd were sidelined in the final two-plus months last season.

"We've got to hope he gets back quicker than the original time line," Skiles said of Bogut. "We don't want to look at it as anything serious.

"You can't control getting kicked in the leg or something like that. It is what it is. He's an important part of our team and we need him to stay healthy."

Redd has been sidelined with a left patella tendon strain but is working out again and should return on the Bucks' road trip. Both Redd and forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (left foot strain) will travel with the team on the trip.

"I think he's very close," Skiles said of Mbah a Moute. "Michael looked better today than he did (Thursday) even. He was getting off his right leg and moving around.

"I'd say the same thing about him. At some point on the trip he will play. We'll do something with him again on Sunday (on an off day in San Antonio), maybe get some guys to go 2-on-2 or 3-on-3. Monday or Wednesday he might be ready."

The Bucks play at San Antonio on Monday and at New Orleans on Wednesday.

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

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