Warriors' Diogu out 3-4 weeks with broken hand

Updated: October 14, 2005, 7:55 PM ET
Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Rookie forward Ike Diogu learned Friday he'll miss the rest of the Golden State Warriors' exhibition schedule with a broken left hand.

Ike Diogu

Diogu will be out at least three weeks, according to the team doctors' diagnosis when the Warriors returned to practice at their training complex in Oakland after opening camp in Hawaii.

The ninth overall pick was injured during practice early in camp _ and though the broken metacarpal bone doesn't even require a hard cast, it will hinder Diogu's efforts to crack Golden State's playing rotation.

``It's disappointing, but I guess it could have been worse,'' Diogu said while holding a slim energy drink can with his broken hand. ``I've just got to prove myself all over again in practice. Practice is where it gets done.''

Diogu hopes his hand will heal in time for the Warriors' regular-season opener Nov. 2 against Atlanta. But given all the practice time and exhibition games he'll miss, it's unlikely he would get to play much anyway.

The Warriors anticipate a big season with point guard Baron Davis leading a veteran roster of returnees, though Diogu should fit into the mix when healthy. At least 10 players are expected to return from last season's club, which missed the playoffs for the 11th straight year but won 14 of its final 18 games.

``Ike was going to have to work his way into the rotation with the guys we've got back,'' coach Mike Montgomery said. ``Any rookie needs experience. It's not something you step in and dominate. The best place for that would have been exhibitions, but that's not available to us, so we have to go to Plan B.''

That plan involves plenty of work on treadmills and exercise bikes in addition to sprints and classroom study. He'll be joined by rookie forward Chris Taft, who strained his groin early in training camp and didn't play in the Warriors' two Hawaii exhibition games against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Golden State resumes its exhibition schedule Sunday night at Sacramento.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press