Injury update: DeMarcus Cousins out indefinitely

Cousins bending down

The DeMarcus Cousins illness situation continues to hold the Sacramento Kings’ season hostage.  Before coming down with viral meningitis, Cousins was playing at an MVP level.  He had the Kings off to a 9-6 start, despite a brutal early season schedule. Sacramento was the talk of the NBA.

Now there is just uncertainty.

“He’s out indefinitely, we have no idea when he’ll be back,” coach Michael Malone said before tonight’s game.

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Cousins is unlikely to play at all this week and it could be weeks or even months before Cousins returns to full strength.  There is no magic treatment.  The virus has to run its course, which can take six to eight weeks in some instances.

Once Cousins is healthy enough to resume basketball-related activities, the Kings will then have to deal with the fact that he has missed a considerable amount of time.  His level of conditioning will not be close to NBA standards and there will be an adjustment period to deal with.

For those questioning Cousins, Malone had this to say about his star center.

“He’s still not feeling well and I can just hear the frustration and disappointment in his voice,” Malone said.  “He is a competitor and the fact of the matter is this to be very honest – I’ve been in the league 14 years, some guys don’t mind missing games.  It’s not that important to them.  It’s killing DeMarcus.  It’s killing him that he’s not getting that much better, at times it doesn’t seem like.  But more importantly, that he’s not able to go out there and compete and play and help this team win games.”

With Cousins ailing, the Kings need every player on the roster to step up their game, including seldom used players like Ryan Hollins and Derrick Williams.

“Some guys wait for this opportunity and now they’re given the opportunity,” Malone said.  “You want guys to go out there and max out and play as hard as they can and take advantage of it.  And when one guy goes down, everybody else has to step up.  We don’t have another DeMarcus Cousins on our roster, I wish we did.  There’s no one that’s going to come in and give us 23 and 12.5 every night and be the focal point of our team.  So we have to do it by committee.”

Cousins’ hopes of making the NBA All-Star team are hanging in the balance.  More importantly, his team’s season is on the brink of disaster without their cornerstone.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is the senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news since 2010. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also contributes to ESPN.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary film "Small Market, Big Heart".