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Andrew Bogut injury analysis: Past, Present, Future

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Andrew Bogut has a right to be frustrated with his injury history. Most recently, he's been diagnosed with bone edema and chondromalacia, but he has also experienced a medley of injuries in his past. What does the future hold?

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

BODY TYPE

Andrew Bogut is listed as a seven footer and weighs in at 260 pounds. This body type alone puts him at a higher injury risk. Here are some of the recent NBA centers, and rough percentages of games they missed:

Keep in mind these are really rough percentages, and don't account for sickness, aging / years in the league, freak accidents, weight fluctuations, shortened careers, playing style, etc. You get the point though, the big fellas don't have it easy.

Now, for the most unfortunate cases above, knee injuries are a common theme. This makes a lot of sense, these guys have a lot of weight to move up and down the floor, and that's a lot of stress on the knees. Back problems are also relatively common for the same reason.

If you look at some of the names that have fared better (Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett in particular), we see leaner body types (esp. in their later years) that probably result in less stress on the knees. A substantial portion of their missed games are preventative: a result of coaches being cautious with their aging stars.

PAST

It's tempting to categorize many of Bogut's injuries as freak accidents. He certainly feels this way: "I think most of my injuries, to be quite honest, 90 percent of them have just been unlucky." Bogut's agent, Bauman, also weighs in on the subject: "All I say to the naysayers or the haters is that each injury in and of itself has been a freak occurrence. He's certainly in no way, shape or form a Mr. Glass, so to speak."

On the other hand, he has a 'protect the rim at all costs' mentality, and never hedges to protect his body, the way many other centers will (Dwight Howard?). This brings out more physical play from his opponents. Early on, he also had a tendency to fight through injuries, often making them worse.

#1. March 7th, 2007: Bogut "sprains his foot" against the Lakers. He continues to play in 4 more games, and re-injures the foot in practice on March 21st. After playing 153 consecutive games, Bogut is out for the remaining 15 games of the season. The next season he plays in just 36 games. The fact that he considers his team first, body second, and continues to practice and play through injury (coaches are the ones who shut him down), is both admirable and concerning. This becomes a trend moving forward.

#2. April 3rd, 2010: Bogut has a nasty fall on a fast-break dunk (with a little help from Amar'e Stoudemire), and ends up with a dislocated elbow, fractured right hand, and a sprained wrist. According to this article by Marc Spears on Yahoo, he loses "a lot of [his] touch" in his right hand, and his jumper and free throws decline as a result. Not for the squeamish.

Sure, there was a slight push from Stoudemire, but I'm not ready to chalk this one up to a dirty play and/or bad luck. His hands were solidly on the rim, and you'd expect him to use the rim more effectively to stabilize.

#3 January 25th, 2012: Bogut rolls his ankle on Kyle Lowry's foot, fracturing the ankle in the process. his self-proclaimed "worst injury" (from Spears' article).

Unlucky? Rolled ankles are one of the most common basketball injuries - strange that it was a fracture though, and a bad one at that. After he was traded to us a few months later, he had surgery to clean up loose bone fragments in that ankle.

#4 Beginning of 2012-13 season: Bogut felt he rushed back from the ankle injury, and he was feeling so beat up, he starting getting exasperated in early 2013:

"I called [my agent] midseason and said, 'I'm done'. My back was so bad at the time. After every game it was like a balloon and it was like catching my tail to get back to the next game. If we had two games in three days, my ankles were really swollen. I had to get around the clock treatment, anti-inflammatories. It got to the point where it just wasn't responding.

"Part of it was my fault. I rushed back from that [ankle injury]. It was probably a 12-month recovery, at least. I came back from that surgery, tried to play in training camp, played five games. It was just stupid. I came back in January. Finished the season pretty strong. It was probably a stupid move on my part, but I wanted to play. It grinded on me a little bit and it wasn't getting better." (from Spears' article)

He received Regenokine treatment for his ankle, which is the same treatment he is now receiving for his knee. The procedures involves drawing blood, placing it in a centrifuge, and then injecting concentrated components from the blood to expedite healing.

The back spasms are an unfortunate side note, as those can often be reoccurring.

#5 April 10, 2014: Bogut fractures a rib after supposedly getting elbowed by Kenneth Faried. Same Faried that Bogut was playing really physical with in our 2013 playoff series with Denver. He continued to play 2 games after the injury, at which point he had trouble taking deep breaths:

"I couldn't breathe. I couldn't sleep. I was basically laying on my stomach for the first week and half and watching the TV on my bed. Every time I moved it was a sudden pain. I couldn't sneeze. Couldn't cough. I couldn't go to the bathroom. It started to get better, but the risk versus the reward was too high." (from Spears' article)

PRESENT

December 8, 2014: Bogut leaves during the first quarter vs. Minnesota. with "right knee irritation". Kerr says "Bogs is fine".

December 10, 2014: Bogut sits out vs. Houston, with "knee tendinitis". "Kerr said he doesn't expect Bogut to miss additional time with tendinitis". His expectations are correct, since Bogut doesn't have tendinitis, does he? The Warriors also conduct an MRI exam on Bogut's knee on the 10th, and decide that he is suffering from bone edema and chondromalacia. The general public doesn't find out for several days.

December 11?, 2014: Bogut has his knee drained, you know, for tendinitis.

December 17, 2014: Bogut undergoes platelet-rich plasma treatment (same as Regokine).

Other notable NBA players who received PRP treatment: Dwight Howard (missed 11 games), Andrew Bynum, Greg Oden, Jermaine O'Neal, and Andre Iguodala.

Edema is swelling, so nothing too disastrous there. Chondromalacia (patella) is an inflammation and softening of the cartilage. Why has Bogut's cartilage been softening? If PRP treatment helps prevent this and makes his knee stronger, I'd be tempted to schedule periodic treatments up until playoffs.

FUTURE

In summary:

  1. Bogut's body type is correlated with a high injury risk
  2. He plays a defensive, uncompromising style of basketball that opponents respond to with physical play
  3. He boasts quite the salmagundi of both typical and unusual injuries
  4. He has now had issues with both his back and his knees, two injuries that are often reoccurring
  5. He seems to be developing a more longterm approach to injuries/health compared to his earlier days, I mean come on, he now treats himself like an old muscle car

From what I can glean from Kerr's statements, twitter, fantasy news, etc.(multiple sources), Bogut could return sometime in January provided he responds well to the PRP treatment. If, after being reevaluated, the medical staff decides that another round of PRP treatment would be beneficial, this could easily be longer. Considering 1-5 above, I'd imagine this could be a lengthy, cautious, process. After all, everyone is most concerned about a healthy squad for the postseason.