9:02am: With an MRI still to come, there’s “faint” optimism that Cousins could be healthy in time to return for a potential NBA Finals appearance, but the expectation is that he’ll miss the rest of the playoffs, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
8:02am: The Warriors fear that starting center DeMarcus Cousins suffered a season-ending torn left quad during Monday’s loss to the Clippers, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The team, which is hoping the quad is just strained, won’t be able to confirm the extent of the injury until conducting an MRI later today, Wojnarowski adds.
“There’s a pretty significant quad injury,” head coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “We’ll get an MRI, but he’s going to be out for — I’ll just say a while because I think it’s unclear right now how long he’ll be out. It’s significant.”
The non-contact injury occurred as Cousins was going after a loose ball during the first quarter of Monday’s Game 2 matchup vs. the Clippers. To add insult to injury, the Warriors later blew a 31-point lead, allowing Los Angeles to even the first-round series at 1-1.
If Cousins’ injury is season-ending, it’s another horrible stroke of luck for the former All-NBA big man, whose 2017/18 season was cut short by an Achilles tear. That injury prevented Cousins from making the first postseason appearance of his career with the Pelicans last spring, and scuttled his chances of a massive payday.
The 28-year-old ultimately settled for a below-market deal with the defending champions in the hopes of making a title run, rebuilding his value, and returning to free agency this summer. He appeared to be on his way to doing just that after averaging 16.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 3.6 APG, and 1.5 BPG in 30 games (25.7 MPG) upon returning from his Achilles tear. However, after having suited up for just two playoff games, Cousins may now once again be recovering from a major injury when he hits the open market in July.
“It’s tough, for sure,” teammate Stephen Curry said, per ESPN’s report. “You feel for him considering what he’s been through this last year. This is a big stage, the playoffs. He’s been looking forward to this. I don’t know the extent of the injury at this point. Hope he gets back sooner than later. Just man-to-man in terms of him, what he’s been through, it’s tough for sure. There’s no sugarcoating it at all. You hate seeing that opportunity again on this big stage taken away from him like that.”