Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins unsure if he’ll play against Dominican Republic

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins and Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson at USA Basketball mini camp in Las Vegas. (Photo: Jonathan Santiago)

Team USA hosts the Dominican Republic in a friendly exhibition tomorrow evening in New York.  One of the burning questions heading into Wednesday night’s game is if DeMarcus Cousins will be healthy enough to play.

The Sacramento Kings starting center, who injured his right knee in practice last week, isn’t quite sure.

“I mean, I’m basically through the pain,” Cousins told reporters following USA Basketball practice in Brooklyn on Tuesday. “now it’s just about getting strength back in my knee.”

Cousins hurt his knee during the scrimmage portion of practice last Thursday in Chicago.  The injury sidelined the Sacramento Kings big man from playing in Saturday’s exhibition 95-78 win over the Brazilian National Team at the United Center.

Cousins told reporters in Brooklyn that his knee his feeling much better, but that “it’s still not 100 percent”.  The 24-year-old center would love to play, but also suggested that he wants to take a cautious approach in his recovery.

“I also don’t really want to rush into anything,” the Sacramento Kings center said. “I would say it’s about 50-50.”

Cousins isn’t ruling out the possibility of sitting out tomorrow’s game against the Domincan Republic, which will be played at Madison Square Garden.  If he doesn’t play, Cousins will look at Friday’s contest against Puerto Rico as his opportunity to return to game action.

“A couple of more days to heal under my belt,” the Sacramento Kings big man told media in New York. “a couple more days of, you know, going through the rehab, get my knee stronger. That’s definitely a possibility.”

Cousins was also asked if he’s concerned about his injury affecting his chances of making the World Cup roster.  Rather than dwelling on the negatives of being sidelined, he instead focused on what’s within his control.

“First of all, nobody wants to be hurt, of course,” the Sacramento Kings center said. “It just kind of happened that way. All I can do is try my best to learn the stuff from the sideline, go through my rehab and just try to get healthy as fast as possible. That’s all I really can do right now.”

Quotes from USA Basketball were used to write this story.

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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.