INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — Andrew Bogut’s season is over. J.R. Smith’s has resumed.
And so it goes for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who because of several major injuries have yet to play at full strength this season while defending their NBA title.
Bogut has been ruled out for the rest of the regular season — and the playoffs — after breaking his left leg on Monday night just 58 seconds into his Cleveland debut. It’s a cruel ending for the 7-foot Australian, who just signed with the Cavaliers last week for a chance to return to the Finals.
The team said Wednesday that Bogut won’t need surgery, but he won’t be back in time to help this year. He’s expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the start of next season.
Bogut was signed to give Cleveland some needed frontcourt depth and a big body to combat some potential mismatches in the postseason. General manager David Griffin, who has overhauled Cleveland’s roster with the additions of Kyle Korver, Derrick Williams and Deron Williams, will likely add another big man.
That’s unlikely to happen during the Cavaliers’ upcoming road trip, which begins Thursday in Detroit.
While Bogut is lost, Smith practiced Wednesday for the first time since undergoing surgery in late December on a broken right thumb. Smith is listed as questionable for Thursday’s game.
Meanwhile, Korver is out with a sore left foot. He will accompany the team on its trip and continue to receive treatment.
And coach Tyronn Lue, who stayed home to rest on Monday, missed practice as he deals with a sinus/inner ear issue. The team said Lue is expected to be back on the sideline for Thursday’s game.