OAKLAND, California — Just as they have the past two seasons, the Golden State Warriors will have to get by without center Andrew Bogut for an undetermined amount of time.
The team announced Thursday that Bogut is out indefinitely after undergoing platelet-rich plasma therapy on his ailing right knee. The Warriors said Bogut consulted with the team's medical staff and his personal physician from Australia before deciding on the treatment.
General manager Bob Myers and coach Steve Kerr both supported Bogut's decision to have the procedure in hopes of speeding up the recovery process. Kerr said he expects Bogut to miss "the next couple of weeks."
"He's fine. He's frustrated. He always wants to be out there. But the biggest thing is to have him healthy and we don't want to mess around with it," Kerr said, adding that the team has not discussed signing another center.
Bogut sat out for the fifth straight game when the Warriors hosted Oklahoma City on Thursday night. He is averaging 7.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, three assists and 2.2 blocks and has played a key role in helping the Warriors get off to an NBA-best 21-3 start.
The 7-footer has been the anchor of Golden State's smothering defense, though his career has often been derailed by injuries, including the past two years.
Last spring, a broken rib kept him from playing in the first-round playoff loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. He also missed 50 games recovering from left ankle surgery during the 2012-13 season, playing through pain — and playing well — when he returned for the Warriors' surprising run to the second round.
The Warriors originally said Bogut had tendinitis before listing it as knee chondromalacia and bone edema. The injury causes bone marrow to swell and absorb fluid and can be extremely painful.
Bogut said before Golden State's loss at Memphis on Tuesday night — which ended the team's franchise-record 16-game winning streak — that he hadn't felt any improvement since leaving in the first quarter against Minnesota on Dec. 8. He also had his knee drained last week.
In PRP therapy, blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge that spins it to separate the platelet-rich plasma. The platelets, which release growth factors for tissue healing, are re-injected into the injured joints and muscles.
Golden State's Andre Iguodala underwent PRP treatment on his right knee in the offseason and said he came back stronger. Houston Rockets All-Star center Dwight Howard missed 11 games after undergoing the procedure on his right knee in November.
Backup center Festus Ezeli, and forwards Marreese Speights and Draymond Green are expected to help fill the void Bogut leaves behind. Power forward David Lee, who has played only one game this season because of a strained left hamstring, also could return next week.
"Guys got to step up," point guard Stephen Curry said. "It's a long season. You expect there to be bits and pieces of the season where we're not going to be at full strength. We should play well and win games despite that."
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: http://www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP