Cousins 'highly unlikely' to return for Warriors in playoffs, says Kerr

By E.Jay Zarett 24 April 2019 25
Cousins 'highly unlikely' to return for Warriors in playoffs, says Kerr

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said it is "highly unlikely" that DeMarcus Cousins will return in the NBA playoffs.

Warriors center Cousins tore his left quadriceps muscle last week and started his rehabilitation program on Tuesday.

Two-time defending champions the Warriors, however, are still expecting to be without Cousins for the remainder of their three-peat quest.

"It was good to see him, and obviously we've been gone the last week or so," said Kerr, whose team lead the Los Angeles Clippers 3-1 in the Western Conference first-round series.

"It's good for everyone to see him and vice versa. We'll see what happens in a few weeks once we have a better sense of his healing and his ability to maybe get on the court.

"Who knows? But at this point, I'd say it's highly unlikely [he returns in the playoffs]."

Cousins suffered the injury when he fell chasing down a loose ball on a fast break in the first quarter of Golden State's Game-2 loss to the Clippers.

He was helped back to the locker room and was ruled out shortly after.

"You're probably looking at a couple months' recovery, so it's unlikely," Kerr said shortly after Cousins' injury. "But [the Warriors' sports medicine staff has] told me that there are occasions where that injury heals faster. So, we're leaving the door open, obviously."

The four-time All-Star made his first career playoff appearance in Game 1 of the series, scoring nine points and grabbing nine rebounds in 21 minutes of action.

Cousins signed a one-year, $5.3million deal with the Warriors in July and missed the team's first 45 games as he continued to recover from a torn Achilles.

"More than anything, I'm just crushed for DeMarcus," Kerr said last week. "He's been waiting 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."

Cousins finished the regular season averaging 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds in 25.7 minutes per game.

The Warriors will face the Clippers in Game 5 at Oracle Arena on Wednesday.

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E.Jay Zarett