OAKLAND – Warriors center Andrew Bogut has recovered sufficiently from a groin strain and will start Monday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
The decision was made shortly after Bogut completed pregame drills and pronounced himself available.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr was uncertain about Bogut’s status during his pregame news conference but expressed optimism that the big man would give it a try.
“I think he’ll play,” Kerr said, “but we’ll see.
“He’s made good progress the last few days and we’ll see when he gets off the floor in 20 or 30 minutes.”
Bogut sustained the injury in the second quarter of Game 5 of the conference semifinals last Wednesday against Portland. He missed the next two practices, returning Sunday, but the Warriors chose to wait until he was cleared on Monday.
Even with Bogut back, though, Kerr indicated he would be ready to his entire fleet of centers – Festus Ezeli, Marreese Speights, Anderson Varejao – to combat Thunder big men Steven Adams and Enes Kantor.
“Festus will be important,” Kerr said. “So will Mo. You could see Andy. We’re going to have to use a lot of bodies. We’re going to have to deal with their size and strength. Fortunately, we’ve got a pretty good stable of centers ourselves. “