Injury report: DeMarcus Cousins officially ruled out

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins against the Boston Celtics. (Photo: Jonathan Santiago)

DeMarcus Cousins hates to miss games.  Over his five-year career, he’s missed just 23 total contests, including the last two, both of which were losses for the Sacramento Kings.  Call it a virus or flu-like symptoms, but Cousins was so sick late last week that the Kings sent him home to Sacramento early while the team took on the Spurs in San Antonio.  The hope was that Cousins could regain his strength and be ready to compete on Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies, but that didn’t happen.

After another round of tests on Monday and early Tuesday, Cousins was cleared to return to the practice floor with the hopes of making it back in time to take on former teammates Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, James Johnson and Chuck Hayes tonight at Sleep Train Arena.  But after warming up, he came off the floor and told the training staff he couldn’t go once again.

The Kings have struggled without their star big man and have now lost three straight and dropped to 9-8 on the season.  Toronto is dealing with a major injury setback of their own.  All-Star wing DeMar DeRozan is out indefinitely with a torn adductor tendon in his groin.  Without their go-to man, the Raptors lost to the Lakers in overtime on Sunday, dropping to 13-4 on the season.

Cousins is off to a great start this season, averaging 23.5 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists through 15 games.  More than the offensive numbers, Cousins has anchored an improved Sacramento defense and he is averaging a career-high 1.5 blocks per game.

With 11 home games in the month of December, the Sacramento Kings have a chance to build momentum heading into the new year.  But getting Cousins back to full strength is a must if the Kings are going to have a chance to compete in the stacked Western Conference.

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James Ham

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