Could DeMarcus Cousins suit up with the Lakers in the postseason? Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

A torn left ACL has sidelined Lakers center DeMarcus Cousins for the entire 2019-20 season so far. However, head coach Frank Vogel still isn’t ruling out the possibility of a Cousins return this spring, as he said over the weekend in Chicago (video link; hat tip to CBS Sports).

“He’s on track to get healthy by the playoffs and we’ll have to see where he’s at with rhythm and conditioning and timing and all that stuff,” Vogel said. “But there’s a possibility he returns this season, yes.”

That ACL tear, suffered last August, is the third major left leg injury Cousins has dealt with since the start of the 2017-18 season. His ’17-18 campaign with the Pelicans came to an early end when he tore his Achilles tendon. After making it back from that injury for the Warriors in 2018-19, he suffered a torn quad at the start of the postseason.

While it would be great to see Cousins get healthy and return to action during the postseason, that sounds like a pretty aggressive recovery timeline, even if the Lakers make a deep playoff run. In recent years, players like Zach LaVine, Jabari Parker and Kristaps Porzingis, who have suffered torn ACLs, have taken at least 11-12 months to make it back. And it has generally taken them much longer than that to look like their old selves.

Even if Cousins is ready to go at some point this spring, it’s unclear what sort of role he could have in a playoff series. Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee have done an admirable job handing the center position this season, with Anthony Davis also spending some time at the five, and Cousins won’t have any in-game experience with the current roster to develop chemistry.

Although I’m skeptical that Cousins will be able to make a comeback and make an impact for the Lakers this spring, Vogel’s comments – as well as Cousins’ close relationship with several teammates, including Davis – suggest that his roster spot should be safe if the team makes an addition on the buyout market in the coming weeks.

This article first appeared on Hoops Rumors and was syndicated with permission.


The Morning Bark Newsletter. Emailed daily.

You'll receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams.

Emailed daily. Always FREE!

Can you name every NBA player to score 40 or more points in his team's first game of the season?
54 / CHI / 1989
Michael Jordan
50 / CHI / 1986
Michael Jordan
50 / NO / 2016
Anthony Davis
50 / BRK / 2019
Kyrie Irving
47 / POR / 1984
Kiki Vandeweghe
47 / DEN / 1985
Alex English
46 / SDC / 1979
World B. Free
46 / SEA / 1988
Dale Ellis
46 / GSW / 2010
Monta Ellis
45 / GSW / 1997
Latrell Sprewell
45 / LAL / 2007
Kobe Bryant
44 / DET / 2000
Jerry Stackhouse
43 / IND / 2001
Jalen Rose
42 / KC / 1973
Nate Archibald
42 / ORL / 1992
Nick Anderson
42 / ORL / 1993
Shaquille O'Neal
42 / CHI / 1995
Michael Jordan
42 / OKC / 2013
Kevin Durant
41 / SFW / 1966
Rick Barry
41 / MIL / 1972
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
41 / ATL / 1973
Lou Hudson
41 / DET / 1999
Grant Hill
41 / CHA / 2018
Kemba Walker
40 / PHI / 1969
Hal Greer
40 / UTAH / 1983
Adrian Dantley
40 / UTAH / 1989
Karl Malone
40 / GSW / 2015
Stephen Curry
40 / TOR / 2016
DeMar DeRozan

Customize Your Newsletter


Get the latest news and rumors, customized to your favorite sports and teams. Emailed daily. Always free!