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News » Just watching hurts Bogut Center, recovering at home, sees struggles

Just watching hurts Bogut Center, recovering at home, sees struggles

Just watching hurts Bogut  Center, recovering at home, sees struggles By TOM ENLUND

While the Milwaukee Bucks were enduring a long week on the road, injured center Andrew Bogut was navigating his way through a long week at home as he kept an eye on the team from afar.

Bogut said there had been talk about him joining the team on the weeklong, four-game trip that concluded with Friday night's loss in Oklahoma City, but it was decided that he should stay behind and rehabilitate the injury to his lower left leg.

Bogut acknowledged that it was the correct decision, but that didn't make it any easier for him to be away from the team for an extended period of time.

"It's frustrating," said Bogut. "The question was, do I travel or don't I? The smartest thing was not to because I could get two or three hours a treatment a day (in Milwaukee). I could go to the pool (at the team's training facility). I don't have to search out all that stuff on the road.

"But saying that, you never want to be away from the team. You miss being around the guys and being in arenas. I love what I do, and I definitely miss doing it. It's very hard (to watch on TV). I could have been out there helping. It's just one of those things. It's frustrating, but you can't do much about it."

Bogut rejoined his teammates for Saturday's game against Orlando at the Bradley Center and was on the bench in street clothes. It was the sixth game Bogut missed since suffering ligament damage in a game against New Jersey on Nov. 18. It was estimated he would miss two to four weeks, and while he won't be back in two, Bogut is optimistic he will return sooner than four weeks.

Before Bogut went out, the Bucks had gotten off to a nice start, as the victory over the Nets improved their record to 6-3. They followed that with victories over Charlotte and Memphis before losing the final three games of the trip.

Bogut, who is averaging 16.1 points and 9.2 rebounds in nine games, was asked to reflect on the fast start the Bucks had gotten off to while he was playing.

"It easily could have been 9-1," he said. "The Mavs game and the Bulls game were two games we could have won. But then you look at the other side of things. We could have lost the game against Golden State. It can go both ways. We were definitely lucky to be where we were at as far as scrapping out some tight games.

"We have a long way to go. Hopefully, this season we can keep getting better and better."

Bogut said the key to the Bucks being a winning team was maintaining the attitude that prevailed in the early weeks of the season.

"It's just the mentality," he said. "Getting used to (winning). The best part for us is we did it early, and we've proven that we can win games. Guys get that winning feeling back. It feels good to fly home from a road trip and not be down and think about the mistakes you made. It's a great feeling. It's a feeling we haven't had since my rookie year. No doubt, winning cures injuries. Winning cures a lot of things much quicker than losing does."

Injuries to Bogut, Michael Redd and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute have taken their toll. After playing the final three games of the trip, Redd did not play Saturday because of a sore knee. With Bogut and Mbah a Moute sidelined, the Bucks were out-rebounded in every game on their trip.

"Two of our best rebounders are out," said Bucks coach Scott Skiles. "It definitely hurt us on the trip. We have a lot of work to do to get better on the defensive boards with those two guys out."

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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