Lakers Still Hope DeMarcus Cousins Will Play This Season

DeMarcus Cousins with USA Basketball in 2016. Photo by Heuler Andrey/Agif/REX/Shutterstock

Los Angeles Lakers haven’t given up on DeMarcus Cousins yet. Lakers’ coach Frank Vogel told reporters on Sunday that the team won’t rule out the possibility of Cousins returning from his ACL injury before the end of the season.

Cousins signed a one-year deal with the Lakers in July 2019, but ended up tearing his ACL during preseason workouts in August. He underwent a surgery to repair the damage and was expected to be out until 2020/21 NBA season. Still, Vogel hopes that the 29-year-old could be ready in time for playoffs this season.

“We’ve not closed the door on that,” – said Vogel. “We’ll just — we’re going to be a wait and see. With these injuries that are long rehabs, you have to see and take it kind of month to month and see where he’s at. But we’ve not closed the door on a possible return for him.”

The ACL tear was the second major injury DeMarcus Cousins has suffered in less than two years. In January 2018, while still with New Orleans Pelicans, he tore his left Achilles and was ruled out for the 2018/19 season. Cousins returned to the court in January 2019, this time as a member of Golden State Warriors, and ended up playing 30 regular-season games last season.

During his time with the Warriors, Cousins averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game.