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News » Bogut slowly progressing Center on comeback trail from back injury

Bogut slowly progressing Center on comeback trail from back injury

Bogut slowly progressing  Center on comeback trail from back injury

St. Francis - Andrew Bogut expressed cautious optimism about his comeback from a serious back injury, saying Thursday he was hopeful about being at full strength when the Milwaukee Bucks open training camp on Sept. 29.

"That's the goal," Bogut said after returning to Milwaukee from his native Australia on Wednesday.

"As of now, I want to be ready for training camp, like any other player in the NBA or any other player with the Bucks .

"If I'm ready to go then, obviously the goal will be achieved. We'll re-evaluate it throughout September. Once I get to contact, it's a different story. I haven't done contact yet, and I'm not sure how far off (it is), whether it's two weeks or four weeks.

"But I think once contact starts and you start getting hit around there, that's when you really see if it's going to respond well or not. That's when you can tell if I'll be 100% by training camp."

Bogut missed 43 games, including the final 31 of last season, due to an incomplete stress fracture in his lower back. A stress fracture is a small sliver or crack in bone caused by repeated traumas. Complete rest is normally prescribed to heal the injury.

During the past month, which he spent in his hometown of Melbourne, Bogut was able to get on the Basketball court for the first time since late January.

"I was doing three days core (weight work) and running on grass, and the other two I was doing some shooting," Bogut said of his five-day workweeks. "I'm doing it up slowly, but I feel pretty good so far.

"I think it's on pace. I have the rest of the off-season to do the little things, strengthen my core, my glutes and my hips. I haven't really had a chance to do that in many off-seasons."

Bogut said he will go to Vancouver to see a specialist next week before returning to Milwaukee to continue his program. Bucks trainer Marc Boff went to Australia in May, and strength and conditioning coach Jeff Macy worked with Bogut in July as the Bucks closely monitored the 7-foot center's progress.

Bogut wasn't the only Bucks player at the team's Cousins Center facility on Thursday. Forwards Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Joe Alexander were working out on the gym floor along with rookie guard Jodie Meeks.

Also in the building was 6-6 forward Carlos Delfino, acquired in a trade with Toronto earlier this week.

Bogut heartily endorsed the deal.

"He's a winner," the center said. "All those Argentine guys are on winning (NBA) teams, and they win with their national team. He (Delfino) can shoot the three very well; he can play the 2 and the 3 and defend. He's going to help us."

Delfino was released from his contract with financially pressed BC Khimki Moscow a week ago. He said he was ecstatic to land with the Bucks .

"I know John; he's a person I trust," Delfino said of Bucks general manager John Hammond. "He knows me since Day One, when I couldn't even speak English.."

Hammond was in the Detroit front office when Delfino was drafted by the Pistons in the first round of the 2003 draft. One year later, Delfino joined the Pistons and played with them for three seasons before being traded to Toronto. He played one season with the Raptors but took a chance in Russia last season.

"It's a different world," Delfino said. "In a year that was problematic for me, I tried to see the good part. I learned many things - a different way to play defense or offense, things that can help me in the future here.

"It was a great situation at the time, then things change. . . . In the future, I will take more care about it."

Delfino's versatility appeals to the Bucks , even though he is expected to be used primarily at small forward.

"For size, I'm a 3 in this league," he said. "Sometimes I was pushing the ball in Toronto; sometimes I can help at the 1 (point guard). It's hard to define a real position for me. That will depend on what the coach wants for me and how I can help the team."

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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Added: August 22, 2009


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