John Hammond announced this afternoon that Andrew Bogut suffered a left ankle fracture during Wednesday night's game against the Houston Rockets. Bogut underwent an MRI this morning which revealed the fracture.
Bogut landed on the ankle of Houston's Kyle Lowry after attempting to block a shot in the first quarter. He immediately limped off the court and returned with a protective boot and crutches for support.
Bogut, who has been plagued in the past by back and elbow problems as well as occasional bouts with migraine headaches, has played more than 70 games in a season just twice in his NBA career.
With Bogut out, the Bucks will likely start Drew Gooden at center as they address whether a more permanent solution is necessary. Bogut's absence should also mean more regular minutes for youngsters Jon Leuer and Larry Sanders, both of whom have found minutes increasingly difficult to come by with the Bucks at full strength. And while discussions regarding the backup center position have cooled since the offseason, there are a number of free-agent big men who could be targeted by Milwaukee to fill the role until Bogut's return, including the much-discussed Joel Przybilla and former Jazz big man Kyrylo Fesenko.
While Bogut has struggled offensively over the season's first month, the Bucks have also been dramatically better with him (7-5 including Monday's win) than without him (0-5), raising the obvious question of whether Scott Skiles' team can meaningfully compete for a playoff spot with Bogut on the shelf for an extended period. While many fans have questioned the team's long-term potential as currently constructed, the Bucks have made no secret of their playoff hopes following a disappointing 35-win season a year ago. But they've endured an uneven start to the campaign thus far, and their resolve will only be further tested if they continue to struggle without their star center.