TORONTO, Canada (AFP) – Golden State All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins is ”pain-free” after tearing a quad muscle last month but Warriors coach Steve Kerr is uncertain he will play in Thursday’s NBA Finals opener.
Cousins suffered the torn left quad in only his second career NBA playoff game but the 28-year-old big man has recovered in time to give Kerr another option when the defending NBA champions face host Toronto in the best-of-seven final.
“DeMarcus has done an amazing job coming back from the injury, which we felt at the time was season-ending,” Kerr said Wednesday. “He has done an incredible job of rehabbing.”
“Now here he is. He has scrimmaged a couple times this week. He’s pain-free. So it’s really more a matter of rhythm and timing and conditioning.”
Kerr did not say if the Warriors would activate Cousins for Game One, saying he would if it were the regular season to test his condition. Kerr said situations would dictate what action, if any, Cousins will see.
“This is not the regular season. This is the finals,” Kerr said. “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.”
For his part, Cousins is ready whenever called but understands it’s not all his decision.
“I feel good. It has healed for the most part,” Cousins said. “I’m still working things into shape, building the muscle endurance to play at a high level, but everything’s coming along well. We’ll come together and figure out the best plan for me.”