Now that the dust has seemingly settled from this season’s free-agency period, let’s take a look at the health of some key Golden State Warriors:
After being hyped as the “European Derrick Rose,” Nemanja Nedovic was unable to make his Summer League debut after spraining his ankle in a scrimmage.
Nedovic was only set to play the first game before he headed back to Serbia to fulfill contractual obligations with their national team. It would be the second ankle injury in a one month span for the young guard.
Fortunately, Nedovic fully expects to be back with the team by the end of September, barring any other injuries. While this ankle injury is benign, the fact that he had the same injury twice in a month is a little troubling.
While it may not be indicative of any long-term damage, his weak ankles are something that the Warriors can simply not afford to have in an other player.
Ognen Kuzmic was another international prospect who was unable to play in the Summer League because of an ankle injury. The Bosnian’s right ankle bone bruise was deemed serious enough by Warriors’ physicians that he should not partake in Summer League play, instead returning to Malaga, Spain to undergo continued rehabilitation.
Kuzmic traveled to California with one of his club’s (Unicaja Malaga) physicians, Mario Barbara, who was able to give the Warriors’ organization more insight into his injury and will serve as a proxy to the managements interests when he returns to Spain. His bone bruise prevents him from doing any jumping or full contact exercises, so he will have to stick to swimming, lifting weights or stationary biking as a way to stay healthy in lieu of the injury.
While Festus Ezeli’s right knee surgery was a success, the operation put him out of commission for six to nine months. The procedure was meant to strengthen his MCL and PCL after he sprained his knee in the final game of the regular season against the Portland Trail Blazers.
While Ezeli is expected a complete recovery, the fact that he will be sitting on the sidelines for a significant portion of the season means the Warriors will have to rely more on Andrew Bogut and Jermaine O’Neal, none of which have particularly clean bills of health.
Ezeli’s injury is another in the long list of cumulative injuries that the Warriors front court has experienced. The center’s sidelining is particularly unfortunate given the potential he showed during the playoffs, and although he might not have the offensive game down yet, he was a defensive anchor and a great rim protector.