NEW YORK (AFP) - Andrew Bogut, the Australian centre who suffered a season-ending injury only seconds into his Cleveland Cavaliers debut, will not require surgery to repair his broken left leg, the NBA club announced on Wednesday (March 8).
Bogut underwent additional imaging and evaluation on Tuesday. Doctors set his fractured left tibia and began non-surgical treatment, which includes an extended period of immobilisation.
Bogut, a 30-year-old who is 2.13m tall, will miss the remainder of the regular season and playoffs for the defending NBA champions but is expected to complete his recovery process before the start of training camp for the 2017-18 campaign.
After helping the Golden State Warriors to the 2015 NBA crown and a record 73 wins in the 2015-16 season, Bogut went down with a left knee injury in game five of the NBA Finals. The Warriors led 3-1 but the Cavaliers made the greatest comeback in finals history to win the crown.
Bogut was traded to Dallas to make salary cap room for the Warriors to obtain Kevin Durant, who is also sidelined with an injury. The Mavericks traded Bogut to Philadelphia two weeks ago and the 76ers waived him, allowing him to sign with the Cavaliers, setting the stage for his injury less than a minute into Monday's 106-98 home loss to Miami.
The Cavaliers have also been without forward Kevin Love and guard J.R. Smith. Love underwent left knee surgery last month and is not expected back until the end of March.
Smith, out since December 20 after surgery to repair a broken right thumb, was cleared Wednesday to resume full practice activity and was upgraded to questionable for Thursday's game at Detroit.
Kyle Korver, a 3-point sharpshooter obtained from Atlanta in a January trade, has a sore left foot but is with the team on its road swing to Detroit, Orlando and Houston while receiving treatment. He will not play Thursday.
In addition, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is being treated for a sinus and inner ear issue. He did not attend practice Wednesday or travel with the team to Detroit but was expected to make the trip in time to guide the Cavaliers against the Pistons on Thursday night.
Despite the injury setbacks, the Cavaliers own the best record in the Eastern Conference at 42-20, three games ahead of the Boston Celtics in quest of a home-court edge into the NBA Finals, which Cavaliers superstar LeBron James hopes to reach for a seventh consecutive season.