Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins has been diagnosed with a torn left quadriceps after undergoing an MRI Tuesday morning, the Athletic’s Shams Charania has reported.
The former All-Star center, who tore his left Achilles in January of 2018, is likely done for the postseason, though the tear is not expected to require surgery, reported Marc Spears of ESPN. The Warriors confirmed early Tuesday afternoon that Cousins had torn his left quad, and that he would be out “indefinitely.” Cousins will begin rehabilitation immediately.
Following Golden State’s 135-131 loss on Monday to the Los Angeles Clippers, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said of Cousins, “There’s probably a significant quad injury. We’ll get an MRI tomorrow, 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.”
After tearing his Achilles with the New Orleans Pelicans last season, Cousins found himself in the midst of a nearly-12-month rehab, and this summer, he lacked suitors on the free agent market. He joined the Warriors to not only chase a title, but to prove that he was still the four-time All-Star who could help shape a franchise. He signed with Golden State for the veteran’s minimum with the understanding that he would be unavailable until January, but would have enough time to integrate himself into the Warriors’ scheme and be ready for a playoff run.
Before Saturay’s Game 1, Cousins had never before played in a postseason game. Last spring, he had to sit and watch as the Pelicans swept the Portland Trailblazers and fell to the Warriors in the conference semifinals.
“You feel for him, considering what he’s been through this last year,” said Stephen Curry. “This is a big stage, the playoffs. he’s been looking forward to this … Just man-to-man, in terms of him, what he’sbeen through, it’s tough, for sure. There’s no sugarcoating it at all. You hate seeing that opportunity again on this big stage being taken away from him like that.”
Just under four minutes into Game 2 on Monday, Cousins stole the ball from Los Angeles’ Ivica Zubac, sprinted down court and then slipped and fell to the floor near the far sideline. He immediately grabbed his left thigh, and stayed on the floor for several moments, as the Warriors called a time out with 8:09 to go in the first quarter.
He was helped up by guard Jacob Evans, but refused assistance from backup center Andrew Bogut, and limped to the locker room. A photograph on Twitter from Mary Babers Green — Draymond Green’s mother — showed what looked like a divot in the middle of his upper leg — the telltale sign of a quadriceps tear.
Since returning from his Achilles injury, Cousins has steadily improved and become a major factor for Golden State. Cousins made his Warriors debut against the Clippers in January of 2019, and many in the locker room felt he was due for a bounceback after a disappointing Game 1 of the current series. He had averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game in 25.7 minutes since his return.
Over the final four games of the regular season, Cousins averaged 20.5 points and 11 boards and four assists.
Without him, the Warriors will look to the trio of Andrew Bogut, Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell.
Looney expects to have much the same role he had before Bogut was signed late this season, and in Game 2, continued his solid play from Game 1, when he had a plus-30 mark in just 17 minutes. On Monday, he scored a career-high (for regular or postseason) 19 points in 19 minutes, shot 6-for-6 from the floor and pulled down five rebounds.
Bogut, who was signed to provide depth behind Cousins, would likely start and play the first three to four minutes of games, with Looney coming in as an athletic change of pace. On Monday, Bogut was a defensive force, with a plus-5 rating in 16 minutes and a team-high nine rebounds.
“We’ll miss his low-post dominance, of course,” guard Klay Thompson said. “We’ll miss his screen-setting, his energy out there. I’m hoping for a speedy recovery because we really need him if we want to make this run.”