DeMarcus Cousins is taking steps toward returning to the court.
The 28-year-old center, who tore his left quadriceps muscle during the Warriors’ first-round series in mid-April, “has progressed to on-court work,” the team announced Thursday. Cousins, however, is still not ready for “live action.”
Kevin Durant & DeMarcus Cousins injury update: pic.twitter.com/nEDLHT5vue
— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) May 17, 2019
Cousins suffered the injury when he fell down chasing a loose ball on a fast break early in Golden State’s series against the Clippers. The team was originally not optimistic about Cousins playing again in the playoffs, but he said last week he’s hoping to return.
“For me, my goal is I ain’t planning on sitting,” Cousins recently told ESPN. “I don’t know the reality of it. But for me, that is not what I’m planning on doing. … It’s definitely some type of bad movie. But I think it will have a very nice ending. Just wait for it.
“Obviously, I was a little more relieved that it wasn’t anything catastrophic like I’ve dealt with before. It sucks to be injured anyway on top of that. The timing of it really (messed) me up the most. It’s a part of this game, man. I’m not the first. I won’t be the last.”
Cousins signed a one-year, $5.3 million deal with the Warriors in July and missed the team’s first 45 games as he continued to recover from a torn Achilles. He finished the regular season averaging 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds in 25.7 minutes per appearance.
“More than anything, I’m just crushed for DeMarcus,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after Cousins was injured. “He’s been waiting for his whole career for this. Then, the second game, he goes down after putting all that work in to recover from the Achilles. And he’s had a great season for us. He’s really come along the last month or so. I just feel bad for him.”
The Warriors entered Game 2 of the Western Conference finals against the Trail Blazers on Thursday with a 1-0 lead.