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Aug 16, 2019, 8:37:00 AM

Cousins could be out for season after ACL injury

It all seemed to be going so well for DeMarcus Cousins. He had capped a solid return from injury with a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the title favourites. He had just left the Golden State Warriors after an up-and-down stint in terms of injuries, but the revelations of an ACL tear just a couple of months before the new season will be devastating to both player and team.

The Lakers seemed like they had their act together, with Cousins joining Danny Green in complementing Kyle Kuzma, Anthony Davis and LeBron James, but it looks like there will be no fairytale storyline for Cousins, with some believing that the news threatens his entire career.

He tore his Achilles a year and a half ago playing for the New Orleans Pelicans, but recovered in time to play a part in Golden State’s run to the NBA Finals, before making the move to Los Angeles. Another serious injury means that he is not expected to play a part in the forthcoming season, though he may well get a chance to feature near the end if his new side can make the postseason.

Cousins also managed to rupture his quadriceps last season, and the list of serious injuries keeps on growing. Most players can shake off lighter complaints such as strains and twists, but a series of big tears points to a lot of recovery time for the centre.

With an average of over 20 points and ten rebounds a game, Cousins would get into most sides. When he tore his Achilles in 2018, he was on track for a $100m contract in free agency over multiple years, but instead he ended up taking short-term deals at the Warriors and now the Lakers.

It is thought that Cousins, who previously said that “I don’t take any of this for granted” as he entered free agency this summer, was hoping that a title-winning season in LA would lead him to the long-term contract he craved, but he will find himself back at square one next summer.

This leaves a gap at centre for the Lakers, who only really have JaVale McGee and Davis to step in there, though this may under-utilise Davis’ talents elsewhere on the court. However, with only those two having playing experience there, Davis may be pushed there over the more inexperienced McGee, who re-signed this summer alongside Rajon Rondo. The Lakers will be glad that they kept him, and are not yet rumoured to be in the market for any replacement.

Words: Josh Dixon

Images: PA