OAKLAND – It was as predictable as it is unfortunate: Festus Ezeli restricted once more to the sidelines.
The backup center was one of two Warriors unable to practice Wednesday, the other being Shaun Livingston, who is recovering from his August toe surgery and faces 50-50 odds of taking the court before the Oct. 29 season opener at Sacramento.
Ezeli, however, had hoped to use training camp and the preseason to get fully ready for the regular season.
He missed all of last season after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery and missed Summer League with shin inflammation.
Since fully participating in first-day drills on Tuesday, Ezeli has been restricted. He has not scrimmaged and did not participate in practice Thursday.
"With Festus, it's been over a year since he's played," coach Steve Kerr said. "He has some shin inflammation. We’ve got to be careful with him. We'll play it by ear and see how it goes.''
This is the latest episode of Ezeli's long and episodic journey to return to action. He has endured more ups and downs than a kangaroo, every encouraging sign slamming into a setback.
Furthermore, it stresses the Warriors at the center position. The only two natural centers on the roster are starter Andrew Bogut and third-stringer Ognjen Kuzmic – two more men who have battled injuries.
There is no timetable for Ezeli's full recovery.
"In the meantime, (reserve power forward) Mo Speights will get some time behind Andrew," Kerr said. "Kuz is coming along. He has a chance to help us this year.
"If we've got injuries, we've got to think about going small, too. And we've got some options there."