SALT LAKE CITY -- Center Andrew Bogut is ready to take the next level in his return, according to the Warriors' doctors and athletic trainers.
A team official said the 7-foot-1 Australian has been cleared to play both games in back-to-back sets, the next step in his rehabilitation. When Bogut returned to action on Jan. 28, he was limited to 25 minutes and prohibited from playing two games in two nights until after the All-Star break. Well, the All-Star break has come and gone so it is time to see if Bogut's surgically repaired left ankle can handle such rigors.
Also, Bogut has also been cleared to extend his minutes beyond the 25-minute threshold as long as it is not a back-to-back situation.
Bogut has played in six games since his returning, topping out at 28 minutes. He's averaging 9.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks. The Warriors are 3-3 in the games he has played since his return. He acknowledges being infiltrated into the lineup has been challenging.
"A little bit," Bogut said after Golden State's shootaround at Utah's practice facility Tuesday. "Trying to pick your spots. Obviously trying not to affect chemistry too much because we were winning. Offensively, I haven't helped out much. I know that I'm the fourth or fifth option on this team, which is no problem. So I've tried to focus more on defense, trying to rebound and block shots, be a focal point defensively."
Whether he continues to play two games in two nights, or play up to 35 minutes, will be determined by how his left ankle responds when he actually does it. The Warriors will know right away as three of their six back-to-back sets come over the next eight games.
They play Tuesday night at Utah and Wednesday vs. Phoenix. The begin a five-game trip at Indiana and New York next Tuesday and Wednesday and finish it at Boston and Philadelphia on March 1 and 2.