Golden State center DeMarcus Cousins has been diagnosed with a torn left quad after undergoing an MRI examination Tuesday morning, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The injury is highly likely to keep him out for the remainder of the season, but the team will see how he responds within the first two weeks of his rehabilitation, as the injury is not expected to require surgery.
The big man suffered the injury early in the first quarter of Monday’s Game 2 against the L.A. Clippers after picking off a Danilo Gallinari pass and chasing after a loose ball.
Boogie went back to the locker room after this play with apparent leg injury. pic.twitter.com/WgzWjxA17B
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 16, 2019
Cousins quickly grabbed his left quad and clutched it, turning to the bench as he got up and asking for a substitute. He would refuse help getting up and follow the training staff into the locker room.
An initial look at Cousins’ quad shows the tendon is visibly swollen and out of its normal place, which caused analysts like TNT’s Charles Barkley to fear for a potentially-torn quad, an injury he himself experienced in 1999.
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) April 16, 2019
Barkley’s observation is more than mere commentary, as he weighed nearly as much as Cousins (270 pounds) during his playing days and knows the strain put on the muscle and ligaments when playing in the NBA.
The Warriors were bracing for the worst of outcomes, but also considered it could be a severe strain, which would be easier to recover from.
Cousins was coming off a near 12-month absence after tearing his Achilles last February as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, effectively ending his season. It was that major injury that eventually gave other teams pause about signing him as a free agent, which ultimately resulted in Cousins signing a one-year deal with Golden State for the $5.3 million mid-level exception.
This was the 28-year-old’s first stint in the playoffs, though he saw only one game before his four minutes of playing time prior to suffering the injury.