OAKLAND, Calif. – Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut didn't travel with the team for the beginning of a five-game road trip at Minnesota on Sunday because of a nagging back injury.
An MRI revealed that a protruding disk in Bogut's back is causing spasms, the Warriors said Saturday night. They are hoping Bogut can join the team later in the trip, which also includes stops at Indiana, New York, Boston and Philadelphia.
The bad back kept Bogut out of Golden State's 107-101 overtime win at home Friday night against San Antonio. He has missed 43 of 55 games this season, all but the last one while recovering from microfracture surgery on his left ankle.
Bogut also missed more than half of the 2008-09 season with a stress fracture in his lower back, one game with a mild back strain the following season and five games with a sore back during the 2010-11 season with the Milwaukee Bucks. After fracturing his ankle last year, he came to Golden State in a deal that sent guard Monta Ellis to Milwaukee at the trading deadline.
The 7-foot Australian center is averaging 7.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 22.5 minutes in his 12 games with the Warriors. He has yet to play in four consecutive games this season, though his ankle recovery had showed progress in a home win against Phoenix on Wednesday night — the first time he had played in games on back-to-back nights since his latest return.
Veteran backup Andris Biedrins again is likely to start in Bogut's place. Rookie center Festus Ezeli will be behind Biedrins.