DeMarcus Cousins is nearing his return to the court.
The 28-year-old Warriors center has made good progress in his recovery from a torn left quadriceps muscle and continues to be listed as questionable for Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Raptors, coach Steve Kerr told reporters Wednesday.
“DeMarcus has done an amazing job coming back from the injury, which we felt at the time was season ending,” Kerr said. “He’s done an incredible job of rebounding, rehabbing. Now here he is, he’s scrimmaged a couple times this week. He’s pain free. So, it’s really more a matter of rhythm and timing and conditioning, all those things.”
Cousins suffered the injury when he fell down chasing a loose ball on a fast break early in Golden State’s series against the Clippers.
“If this were the regular season, I would throw him out there and he would play whatever minutes he could tolerate and we would build him up from there,” Kerr said. “This is not the regular season. This is the Finals. So, we have to figure out what’s the best way to utilize him, how many minutes can he play, what the game feels like, what the matchups are like.
“Some of that will be determined by what’s happening in the game, and the other stuff is just internal with our staff.”
Cousins signed a one-year, $5.3 million deal with the Warriors in July and missed the team’s first 45 games as he continued to recovery from a torn Achilles. He finished the regular season averaging 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds in 25.7 minutes per appearance.
“I believe (the Finals) is the stage that every basketball player as a kid growing up dreams of,” Cousins said Wednesday. “To be here is a huge honor and it’s an incredible feeling, so I’m extremely excited about it and it makes me that much more antsy to get on the floor and help my team. If that opportunity is presented to me, I plan on taking full advantage of it.”
Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Warriors and Raptors will tip off Thursday at 9 p.m. ET in Toronto.