DeMarcus Cousins Injury: Can Warriors Center Return Before NBA Finals?

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Getty Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins

If you ask DeMarcus Cousins, he’ll be back during from injury during the Golden State Warriors’ current push for the 2019 NBA Finals. When Cousins suffered a partially torn quad, the expectation was that he would be out for the remainder of the NBA playoffs.

The injury happened when Cousins attempted to chase down a pass in Game 2 of the first round against the Los Angeles Clippers. He went down awkwardly and immediately grabbed his leg while remaining on the ground for a short period. He was in obvious pain and limped back to the locker room.

After the diagnosis came down, Warriors coach Steve Kerr made it known that it was “highly unlikely” Cousins would return in the playoffs, as The Athletic’s Anthony Slater revealed. But apparently, that may have changed recently.

DeMarcus Cousins Eyeing Return From Injury in NBA Playoffs

There had been previous rumblings about Cousins possibly returning, but it seemed like a longshot. As ESPN’s Marc J. Spears reported on Monday, though, the Warriors big man made it known that he’s not expecting to sit out the remainder of the playoffs, even saying to “just wait for it.”

“For me, my goal is I ain’t planning on sitting,” Cousins told The Undefeated after the Warriors’ shootaround in preparation for Monday’s Game 4 against the Houston Rockets in a second-round playoff series. “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.”

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It’s hard not to be impressed with Cousins’ drive to return, and it appears there’s some reason to buy into his potential comeback happening ahead of schedule.

When DeMarcus Cousins Could Return From Injury

It’s tough to envision any world where Cousins is back before the 2019 NBA Finals, assuming the Warriors make it that far. With that said, there’s been some reason for optimism about the chances of a return.

Prior to Monday’s game, Spears revealed a video of Cousins getting in some on-court work and he looked pretty good doing so.

The Athletic’s Anthony Slater described Cousins’ on-court session as a “decent intensity workout” after shootaround. He also pointed out that the 28-year-old is “holding out hope” to make an appearance in the NBA Finals. Obviously, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s his only outlook, but it’s hard to argue that it’s not the most realistic one.

It’s an interesting scenario, and while the Warriors didn’t rule Cousins out for the year previously, they also didn’t appear to be overly optimistic early on. Even with that said, the injury occurred on April 15 and the start of the NBA Finals is set for May 30. This means Cousins would have completed the comeback at an impressively fast pace.

As far as a return before the NBA Finals? That’s a longshot at best, and almost virtually impossible, regardless of how good Cousins has looked during his on-court work during practice sessions.

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