Australian NBA star Andrew Bogut is confident he will overcome a serious ankle injury to play for the Golden State Warriors again this season.
Warriors owner Joe Lacob and the team's coach Mark Jackson have refused to put a timeline on Bogut's return to the court, raising the prospect that his season could be over.
However, the 28-year-old former No.1 draft pick was clear about his prospects despite missing the past 28 games.
"I'll definitely play this season," Bogut said on Saturday. "I think I'll be ready to play this season. It's just a matter of when."
Bogut was the Warriors' star recruit when traded from the Milwaukee Bucks last March, but after undergoing microfracture surgery on the ankle and missing the Australian squad's London Olympic campaign, he rushed himself back to play in the first four games of the season.
The centre admits the ankle was not ready to support his 213-centimetre, 120-kilogram frame.
"I definitely don't think I'll miss the whole season," Bogut, dressed in a black suit, said outside the Warriors' locker room in the bowels of Los Angeles' Staples Center before the team played the LA Clippers on Saturday.
"If I do I'll be pretty distraught about it."
This week he began travelling with the team after spending the last month-and-a-half at home in the San Francisco Bay area in rehabilitation.
Bogut's absence has not doomed the Warriors' season, with the team enjoying a 22-win, 10-loss season. it sits in fourth place in the NBA's Western Conference.
With the Warriors set for a playoff run, Bogut is keen to shed the suit and put on a singlet.