Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Cousins is questionable to play in Game 1 of The Finals on Thursday. The 28-year-old center has been sidelined since April 15 with a torn quadriceps muscle. Cousins practiced with the team on Monday and scrimmaged with the reserve unit.
Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins is closer to a return to the floor than his teammate Kevin Durant.
Durant still has a way to go on his recovery timeline. Kerr said the team has yet to decide if Durant will travel to Toronto for the first two games and Durant has yet to be cleared for any on-court work. On Tuesday, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that Durant will travel with the team to Toronto.
“KD’s not playing in Game 1,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Monday, per The Mercury News. “We’ll see where it goes from here. The fact there’s a lot of days in between games in the Finals helps us. So we’ll see.”
As for Cousins, Kerr said the big man is making good progress in recovering from his injury, but the timing of Cousins’ return is tough to balance for the Warriors.
“DeMarcus is making good progress right now,” Kerr said, per ESPN. “The timing of this whole thing is tricky because he misses two months. It always takes big guys longer to find their rhythm; the speed of their game is so fast. If this was the regular season, this would be simple: Put him back in the starting lineup, and give him his minutes, and let him work his way back in and find his rhythm. It’d be an easy one. But we’re going into Game 1 of the Finals.”
Cousins has scrimmaged twice, Kerr said, but the center is still not moving up and down the floor well enough to be cleared for game action.
“The good news is his body feels good, his quad feels good, but he’s working his way back into shape and into rhythm, so this is not a simple dynamic for him, and I feel bad for him,” Kerr said, per ESPN. “This is one of the reasons why he came to this team: It was to play in the playoffs and hopefully go to the Finals. We are, and with Game 1 just a few days away, it’s not an easy position to be in.”
As for Cousins, he’s doing all he can to be ready to play when that moment arrives.
“It’s just about getting my body in shape,” Cousins told Marc Spears of The Undefeated after Monday’s practice. “My quad muscle in shape and go through the different phases and ups and downs of the game. It has been a tough week. I’ve been working my tail off to get to this point. But I am healthy enough.”