The hopes of the California Golden Bears doing anything meaningful this season probably rest on the left foot of Jabari Bird. Bird has been in a protective boot for much of the past two weeks, and it's starting to look like that he could be absent for a little bit longer.
Salesian High coach Bill Mellis said he talked to Bird about the injury shortly after it was diagnosed, and they have conversed several times since. Bird originally told Mellis that he expected to be out as long as a month, but the player said Monday that his recovery is going a bit slower than anticipated.
"I don't know how long it's going to take," Mellis said. "There's got to be some level of frustration to it, but he'll be fine."
"As long as a month" would project him for sometime during the first or second week of conference play. If it's going slower than expected, Bird could be out as long as a month.
However, Cal is fast approaching the end of their easy tests. Washington is their first non-conference foe at the beginning of the month. They can probably survive without Bird for Washington State and USC, but then come UCLA, Stanford and Arizona in three out of the next four games. It's hard to see Cal surviving all of those games without their second best scorer.
Cal fans, what do you think about Bird's absence? How long can we survive without it taking a huge toll on our team?