Andrew Bogut suffered a fractured left tibia less than a minute into his Cleveland Cavaliers debut on Monday night, the team announced.
The injury occurred early in the second quarter when Bogut collided with Miami Heat forward Okaro White. Bogut immediately hobbled toward the sidelines and laid down by the scorer's table, grabbing his left leg in pain, before eventually leaving for the locker room with the help of teammates Tristan Thompson and James Jones.
According to the team, the 7-foot center underwent tests at Quicken Loans Arena, which revealed the fracture, and was taken to the Cleveland Clinic for further evaluation. There is currently no timetable for his return.
New teammate LeBron James said he knew it was bad the moment the injury occurred. "I heard it break," he said. "I heard it crack."
"It's very deflating," James added. "It's a tough moment. We all were excited about the acquisition, you know, bring him in here. It's a tough one, not only obviously for him, first of all, but then for our ballclub."
Bogut, who signed with the Cavaliers last week after being waived by the Philadelphia 76ers (who acquired him at the trade deadline from the Dallas Mavericks), is averaging a career-low 3.0 points this season to go along with 8.3 rebounds. He was brought to Cleveland to provide some rim protection and rebounding help with the second unit.
With coach Tyronn Lue missing the game sick, Cleveland appeared out of sync even before Bogut was hurt. Miami took a seven-point lead after the first quarter and went on to win 106-98.
"It took the air out of the whole building," James said. "You heard it from the fans when he went down and we was just hoping for the best."
The 32-year-old former No. 1 pick has dealt with injuries throughout much of his career. In last year's Finals, Bogut, then a member of the Golden State Warriors, suffered a left leg injury in Game 5 and missed the remainder of the series. Earlier this season with Dallas, he was limited to 26 games due to hamstring and right knee injuries.
Follow AJ Neuharth-Keusch on Twitter @TweetAJNK. Contributing: Associated Press.
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