DeMarcus Cousins left Thursday’s USA Basketball practice with a knee injury, and after he went down, walked gingerly off the court with a noticeable limp, and with the assistance of a couple of team trainers.
A day later at Friday’s practice, Cousins was seen getting up shots individually, but didn’t fully participate, and still had that limp.
He said the knee is improving, though just how soon a return to the court is possible remains to be seen.
“It’s better than (Thursday), so that’s a good sign,” Cousins said after Friday’s practice. “Just gradually trying to get through the pain. It’s going to be a process. As the days go on it should get better.” …
“It was a scary thing of course,” Cousins said. “Speaking from some of the things that happened early on. It’s basketball so things happen but luckily enough it wasn’t anything too severe. I’ll be back in a few days.”
Cousins will not play in Saturday’s exhibition against Brazil at the United Center in Chicago.
If it is only a few days that Cousins is sidelined, and he can get back in time to play in one or both of the exhibition games in New York next week, there’s a strong chance that he makes the final cut and ends up part of the 12-man roster that will compete in the FIBA World Cup in a couple of weeks.
Team USA needs his offense now if he’s healthy, which will leave Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried and Mason Plumlee all fighting for a roster spot, with what’s likely to be just two frontcourt positions available for those three players.