Warriors fans have been plenty loud about how much they miss Monta Ellis, and Saturday the news didn't get any better when the team announced that the player he was traded for, center Andrew Bogut, will have arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle.
At the same time, the Warriors said point guard Stephen Curry's right ankle will be scoped.
Until Saturday, surgery didn't figure to be a necessity considering the progress Curry and Bogut were making. But the team wants to find out exactly what's wrong with Curry's oft-sprained ankle, and Bogut's fractured left ankle needs to be cleaned up. The Warriors are hoping these surgeries will lead to both players being fully healthy for the start of next season.
Van Nuys-based specialist Dr. Richard Ferkle will perform both operations, with Curry going under the knife Wednesday and Bogut scheduled for Friday.
"Now is the time to do it," Warriors general manager Larry Riley said in a phone interview Saturday. "You don't want to get into July and August and say we should've scoped this thing."
Bogut has had three MRIs since joining the Warriors on March 13. It's been a possibility he would need surgery to remove particles and scar tissue. Despite the need for surgery, the Warriors contend Bogut's ankle, which was broken Jan. 25 when he was with the Milwaukee Bucks, is healing properly.
"I'm not really too worried about the surgery," Bogut said. "But in saying that, it's still a surgery. I think I will bounce back fine, and it shouldn't hinder or change my game."
Said Riley, "This just puts us in a position where he can report to camp without issue."
The Warriors acquired Bogut with an eye toward next season. For the same reason, they've been extra cautious with Curry.
"At this point, we're really just looking for October to be healthy," Curry said.
Curry, who by season's end will have missed 40 games, was ruled out for the season Monday after his last examination. Riley said although the MRI showed progress, it raised a red flag. Curry, usually a quick healer, still hadn't fully recovered from the sprain he suffered March 10 against Dallas.
As a result, doctors agreed surgery would be the smart move.
Wednesday, Curry said he was hoping not to have surgery and doubted it would be needed. But Riley said Curry, his agent and his family are all on board.
Curry, finishing up the third year of his four-year rookie contract, is due for an extension this offseason. Certainly, the Warriors would feel better about extending Curry if his ankle situation is clarified.
Riley said the surgery's sole purpose is ensuring Curry is ready for training camp in October.
"Nothing about the surgery is tied to the contract," Riley said. "Both sides have said we can discuss a contract later."
Warriors coach Mark Jackson used only eight players and liked their effort.
"I was really proud of my guys," Jackson said. "We were short-handed but put ourselves in position down the stretch to win the ballgame."
The Warriors got within two points midway through the fourth quarter, but Houston's Courtney Lee hit two 3-pointers to help Houston close it out and snap a six-game losing streak.
The Warriors complete their only back-to-back-to-back set of the season Sunday in Minnesota.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.