UPDATE 7:03 pm: Cousins tweeted out this in the wake of the injury.
If you don’t want to take the player’s word for it, how about a doctor? Here is the official statement from USA Basketball:
According to USA Basketball team physician Dr. Lisa Callahan (Hospital for Special Surgery/New York Knicks), an MRI was done and revealed no structural damage. Cousins is listed as day-to-day.
He’s day to day, just like the rest of us (to quote Olbermann). So, nothing to see here, move along, I guess. Still, here is the original story from someone at the practice. — Kurt Helin
CHICAGO — DeMarcus Cousins went down with what appeared to be a right leg injury about two minutes into the final scrimmage of the day at Thursday’s USA Basketball practice.
There was complete silence in the gym when Cousins hit the deck, with everyone holding their collective breath in hopes that nothing serious had occurred, like it did with Paul George and the injury he suffered at the USA Basketball Showcase in Las Vegas.
Cousins remained there for a minute or two before gingerly walking off the floor with the assistance of trainers.
Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball National Team Managing Director, said afterward that the initial word was that the injury wasn’t believed to be serious. But an MRI was scheduled just to be safe.
“We think it’s going to be precautionary,” Colangelo said. “At least that’s our hope and expectation based on what the doctor and trainers are saying, but we need an MRI just to be sure. He needs that, too, for his own mental well-being. He said he got a little scared, obviously, when you go down after we had that prior injury. So let’s just hope for the best.”
Cousins looked good on one of the first few possessions of the game, getting the ball down low and spinning around a defender to score off the glass. He isn’t expected to play this week, and the severity of the injury could factor into his chances for making the squad, considering they plan to cut down to 12 players once the team finishes with exhibitions in New York at the end of next week.
“The plan has always been that when we leave New York, we would like to be at 12,” Colangelo said. “But I think we have to be flexible. It’s always been that our situation is fluid, and hopefully, we have no other injuries. Chances are Cousins won’t be able to play this week. I can’t believe he would, because even if he’s 100 percent OK, he’s going to have to rest a little bit and get treatments.”
Colangelo said he addressed the team at the morning meeting and talked about what he called “the Paul George situation,” but seeing another member of the team go down — even with something that initially isn’t believed to be serious — had him searching for answers.
“I don’t want to say we’re snakebit, but you start wondering about things,” Colangelo said. “I want to get this one past us. Let’s just hope that he’s healthy.”