The Lakers off-season has been nothing if not eventful. From acquiring Anthony Davis via trade to being spurned by Kawhi Leonard to then recovering to fill out the roster with capable role players, the team has certainly had its up and down moments.
One of those role players who the Lakers and fans alike are most intrigued by is big man DeMarcus Cousins. A little over one year removed from rupturing his achilles and only a few months removed from tearing his quad muscle, Cousins came to the team as the ultimate low-cost, high-upside free agent. Since signing in early July, Cousins has appeared to have lost weight and has been upfront about wanting to use this upcoming season to re-establish his status as one of the league’s best players.
That process, however, is seemingly on hold. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Cousins suffered a “possible” knee injury on Monday and will undergo further testing to determine the severity of his situation. From Woj’s report:
Cousins, 29, was working out in Las Vegas on Monday when he had to leave the court after what one source described as “bumping knees” with another player.
First of all, this is about as vague as it gets when it comes to what we know and what we don’t about the “possible” injury. Further, the things we do know only lead us to more questions:
- If Cousins got hurt on Monday, what does it mean that we’re just hearing about this on Thursday? Should we be more or less optimistic that it’s taken this long for the team to get involved?
- Did Cousins bumping knees mean he could no longer continue his workout or did he simply shut it down after experiencing some pain?
- What knee was it? Cousins’ achilles and quad injuries were both on his left leg. If this is a left knee issue, I’d be a bit more concerned since we’re still relatively close to his quad injury recovery and how that might be related to a knee issue on the same leg.
Bumping knees, in and of itself, is pretty standard stuff for NBA players and the severity of such things is typically small. However, bumping knees can also lead to things like small fractures or bone-bruises, depending on the severity. In the big picture, we know so little at this point, I’d say it’s best not to jump to any conclusions or panic. We should know more in the coming days and, at that point, we can adjust our expectations.
It’s worth noting, however, that the season starts in 2 months and camp should begin roughly a month before that. So, while there’s never a good time for an injury, I’d prefer it now rather than 3 weeks from now — even while acknowledging that any time missed, be it in camp or to start the season, doesn’t bode well for integrating a player who will likely have an important role on a team that has a lot of turnover and a new head coach.
For now, though, those are concerns for another day — if we’re to be concerned at all. I’m hopeful future reports give us more of the latter than the former.