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Bogut aiming for training camp

MILWAUKEE -- Carlos Delfino trusted Bucks general manager John Hammond to pave the way for his return to the NBA.

All the Bucks must do now is trust that Andrew Bogut's back will be ready for training camp.

Bogut, rehabbing from a stress fracture that wiped out the second half of last season, said Thursday his goal is to be ready for camp.

"I think it's on pace," he said. "If I can be ready to go then, the goal will be achieved. But, obviously, it'll be re-evaluated all throughout September."

Bogut has been working out on a limited schedule since July to try to strengthen the muscles around the injury and his core. He has been shooting, but he hasn't been able to participate in contact drills. That's forced the 7-footer to play pingpong and card games such as Uno in an effort to stay competitively sharp.

"It's great to go out and practice by yourself and do shooting drills and so on, but as an athlete, you just want to go out and go against somebody," Bogut said. "I haven't had that competitiveness in me since February, it's been taken away by my injury."

Bogut spoke briefly just after Delfino was introduced.

Delfino, who played in Russia last season, was acquired with Roko Ukic in a four-player trade with Toronto earlier this week for forward Amir Johnson and guard-forward Sonny Weems.

Hammond knew both Delfino and Johnson from his days as assistant general manager in Detroit, when he helped draft both. Delfino said Hammond was the catalyst for his NBA return, which happened in a span of less than six days.

"He's a person I trust," Delfino said. "I was really, really happy to be involved. Happy is the word."

Hammond has been quite busy in his second offseason with the Bucks.

He's made two different four-player deals, including dealing away Richard Jefferson; drafted a whole new backcourt; and re-signed former Bucks draft pick Ersan Ilysova to a new contract after he'd left for Europe the past two seasons.

Bogut said he knew there would be changes after the Bucks finished last season 34-48. Milwaukee hasn't been to the postseason since Bogut's rookie year in 2005-06.

"It's been expected. We've had some bad years in the past and we're trying to improve on it so we're trying to do anything possible," Bogut said. "Some people question our moves and some people think, 'Is it good? Is it bad?' But the guys in the locker room are the only ones it really affects."

Delfino had played for the Raptors in 2007-08 before his Russian stint. He said he was glad to find a way back to the NBA.

"Sometimes, you have those days, those black days, you don't know where to go, you feel stuck," Delfino said. "Hopefully, coming back to NBA, to Milwaukee, to this situation, I can [build] from what I did in Toronto."

Delfino, who turns 27 next week, had the best season of his NBA career with the Raptors, averaging nine points in more than 23 minutes per game off the bench after spending his first three years in Detroit.

Bogut, the No. 1 draft pick in 2005, believes Delfino's shooting touch and toughness will help provide another option for the Bucks.

"He's a winner. All those Argentinian guys are all winners. They play a winning type of basketball. They're team-first players," Bogut said. "They must be doing something right."