NBA: Bogut back home watching from afar
MELBOURNE, Australia — Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut is in his hometown, recovering from a back injury, watching the NBA playoffs and wishing he was taking part in them.
"Just watching the playoff atmosphere right now, I'm jealous of every team that's there," Bogut said Friday. "It's a great thing to be part of."
Bogut is recovering from a stress fracture in his back that curtailed his fourth NBA season. The 7-footer cannot work out until his back fully heals.
The 24-year-old signed a five-year, $60 million contract with the Bucks last year.
"I'm waiting to get another MRI scan, which will be in about a week," Bogut said. "It should show us it's fully healed, and then I'll start doing stuff slowly.
"Because it's such a long offseason, there's no point trying to rush it and then set myself back. We need to make sure it's 100 percent healed, so I'm not doing any strenuous activities at all."
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft, Bogut played 231 of a possible 251 games in his first three seasons.
But an ankle injury in Australia's quarterfinal loss to the United States at the Beijing Olympics was followed by a minor knee problem early in the 2008-09 season.
He was in and out of the lineup until the fracture was finally diagnosed, ending his season. He played just 36 games as the Bucks finished with a 34-48 record.
"I played through it for almost two months on and off, and it was frustrating," he said. "I couldn't play 100 percent and still went out there and gave it a go until it was decided I should just shut it down. With three months left in the season, that was very frustrating."
Bogut, who averaged 11.7 points and 10.3 rebounds before the injury, looks forward to his next trip to the playoffs with the Bucks. His only postseason appearance came in his rookie season.
"Obviously, Milwaukee put their faith in me and signed me to a long-term deal, and I was happy to sign it," he said.
"It's somewhere I enjoy being. The only thing I haven't enjoyed is we haven't made a playoff push. That's on my shoulders as much as anyone else. I definitely need to perform better to help the team get there."