According to a tweet from the Racine Journal-Times' Gery Woelfel, Milwaukee Bucks forward Drew Gooden will not travel to Florida with the team and will miss the next four games. Gooden has been plagued by plantar fasciitis (along with half the league it seems) and will take some time off in hopes that his condition will improve.
The Bucks, as most of you know, face a very difficult schedule in the immediate future, with two games against the Heat and contests with the Magic, Spurs, and Hawks flanking one (hopefully) winnable game in New Jersey.
Gooden hasn't been spectacular since arriving in Milwaukee, and he's already missed a little bit of time, but he's offered solid production as part of the frontcourt rotation, with 11 points and 7 rebounds in under 25 minutes per game. His shooting is far below his typical levels (.432 FG% compared with .470 career), meaning he's right at home on Milwaukee's current roster. Assuming those numbers regress as the year wears on, he should become a valuable scorer.
The upcoming schedule figured to be very difficult with or without Gooden, but his absence puts added pressure on players like Larry Sanders, who has struggled this year in large part to inexperience. Notorious for getting lost on the court, Gooden seemed to be showing improvement in Scott Skiles' defensive system, drawing charges like any self-respecting Bucks forward is apt to do. Hopefully a week or two of rest will alleviate the problems in his feet and he'll be back on the court soon.