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News » Bogut sidelined Bucks' center to miss 2 to 4 weeks with leg injury

Bogut sidelined Bucks' center to miss 2 to 4 weeks with leg injury

Bogut sidelined  Bucks' center to miss 2 to 4 weeks with leg injury By CHARLES F. GARDNER

Andrew Bogut's value to the Milwaukee Bucks is evident every time he goes out of the lineup.

Now the team will have to cope for two to four weeks without the 7-foot center after he suffered a left leg strain and contusion late in the Bucks' 99-85 victory over New Jersey on Wednesday night.

The Bucks are off to a surprising 6-3 start behind the steady play of Bogut and rookie point guard Brandon Jennings, and they've been successful despite the absence of injured shooting guard Michael Redd.

Just as they are about ready to get Redd back in the starting five, they will be missing their fifth-year big man.

"It's disappointing," Bucks general manager John Hammond said after results of Bogut's magnetic resonance imaging exam came back on Thursday afternoon. "Andrew did get off to a very good start. We want him on the floor and we need him on the floor.

"Obviously it's a concern. But it's our job not to dwell on it, to move forward and find a way to compete."

Veteran centers Dan Gadzuric and Kurt Thomas should play increased minutes in Bogut's absence, and Hammond said, "It's those players' responsibility now to step up."

Thomas, a 15-year veteran who played last season with Tim Duncan in San Antonio, was part of the Richard Jefferson trade in June. And he was the only player the Bucks kept out of that deal, in part for just such an occurrence.

"Kurt has experience, and he's been in positions like this before," Hammond said of the 37-year-old. "He keeps himself ready. Danny has played well in the times when he's been on the floor."

Thomas has made two starts this season but is averaging just 6.8 minutes, and Gadzuric has played nearly 10 minutes a game. Veteran 7-footer Francisco Elson, who has yet to play this season, also could get an opportunity from coach Scott Skiles.

The Bucks also might use power forwards Hakim Warrick and Ersan Ilyasova together on the court at times. Ilyasova moved into the starting lineup against New Jersey and had nine points and eight rebounds, while Warrick played 21 minutes off the bench and contributed eight points and six rebounds.

"That happens nowadays in the NBA," Hammond said. "At times you go small, and we could use Hakim and Ersan on the front line.

"Scott is a very creative coach, and I think he'll find ways to force matchup problems for other teams."

Redd is still out for a few more games due to a patella injury, although he was able to take part in the team's non-contact practice session Thursday at the Bradley Center.

Hammond said it's realistic to think Redd could be available in time for Wednesday's game at New Orleans, the third game on the Bucks' upcoming four-game road swing.

"We expect Michael back within the next two or three games," Hammond said.

Forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is wearing a walking boot after suffering a left foot strain in the Bucks' overtime loss to Dallas on Monday night. Mbah a Moute did not practice Thursday and is considered day-to-day.

Despite the injuries, the Bucks dearly want to finish their six-game home stand with a victory over Charlotte on Friday night.

Milwaukee is 4-1 thus far on the home stand.

"This is a really big game," Skiles said. "This is our longest home stand of the season. We've got that other stretch in March where we've got 10 out of 15 at home, but not six in a row at home.

"We want to be able to look back when the season is over and say we went 5-1 on that. Even though it's early, there's a big difference in striking out on the road at 7-3 as opposed to 6-4."

Milwaukee will play four Western Conference teams on the trip - Memphis, San Antonio, New Orleans and Oklahoma City. Find news, notes and commentary at

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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