Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut fully expects to be in the lineup for the season opener on October 31 at Phoenix after undergoing surgery this year on his troublesome ankle.
How much the Australian plays during the exhibition schedule, he's still not sure. Bogut believes he will be nearly full strength by the start of training camp October 3, but might still be limited during the preseason as a precaution.
"I definitely want to be ready for training camp. I think it will be close," Bogut said today before heading to a workout in Australia.
"The immediate goal with all of this is to make sure I'm ready for the first game. Whether that means playing only half the preseason games, it's just about being smart with my ankle. There's no point in trying to get ready for Oct. 1 when an extra week could significantly help. It's just a matter of monitoring it very smartly and not doing anything stupid."
Last week, Bogut began light jogging on a treadmill as part of his recovery - and plans to do more this week at a higher intensity.
Bogut underwent surgery on his fractured ankle April 27 to clean out loose particles and bone spurs. The 2005 No 1 overall is yet to play for the Warriors since being acquired in a trade from Milwaukee on March 13 that sent Monta Ellis to the Bucks.
Bogut broke his ankle January 25 when he landed awkwardly against Houston and missed the rest of the season. That was another injury to plague Bogut during his career. He missed the end of the 2009-10 season when he dislocated his right elbow, sprained his right wrist and broke his right hand in a hard fall to the floor. The injury bothered him for much of last season.
Bogut, averaging 12.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots for his career, also missed significant time with an injured lower back in the 2008-09 season.
He is eager for a fresh start out West in the Bay Area.
"The last couple of years I've had some previous injuries," Bogut said. "This is a big season."
He also was sad to sit out the London Olympics - which would have been his third Summer Games - with Australia.
"Yeah, very tough," he said. "I watched the opening ceremony and was kind of thinking, what if and what could have been? It's been quite a frustrating last six months for me. It's been a long, long process of rehab and surgeries. I've tried to stay positive throughout it. I couldn't really control what happened but at the same time I was highly disappointed not to go to what would have been my third Olympics."
New Warriors general manager Bob Myers sure would be thrilled to have his roster healthy and available from Day 1.
Point guard Stephen Curry underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle April 25 and has been working out at team headquarters this summer.
Curry missed 41 of Golden State's 67 games last season with the sprained right ankle, and like Bogut is ready to get started again.
Bogut will be back in California in a couple of weeks, first stopping in Los Angeles for a doctor's appointment before joining his teammates to get to work.
"They've done a great job thinking outside the box," Bogut said of the Warriors building a roster. "We look good on paper but we still have to go out there and win games."