Sacramento Kings injury report: Cousins returns to action

Sacramento Kings' Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins against the Orlando Magic. (Photo: Jonathan Santiago)

It’s been a wild week in Sacramento, but things are looking up for Kings fans.  After missing the last 10 games with viral meningitis, star center DeMarcus Cousins returns to the floor tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks.

During his absence, the Kings have struggled to a 2-8 record and head coach Michael Malone was relieved of his duties.  Losers of four straight, Sacramento needs Cousins to return to form as quickly as possible.

The 24-year-old big man’s minutes will be limited initially as he builds up his strength and endurance.  While there has been no specific number given, don’t be shocked to see the Kings take an extremely cautious approach.

“Well, minutes will be,” interim coach Tyrone Corbin told the media after practice on Wednesday.  “He’s been out so long, and the game is different from practice.  His wind is probably short.  We’ll probably have to play him in short spurts for a little while till we see how he responds.  But it’ll be a pleasure just to get him back on the floor, and we look forward to whenever he can get back.”

Before falling ill, Cousins was off to a fast start, averaging 23.5 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.  More importantly, he had his team off to a 9-6 start, despite a brutal November schedule.

The Kings are now 11-14 and scrambling to regroup under Corbin.  They face off against a Bucks team that will be without a big man of their own.  Larry Sanders was suspended for one game by the league earlier today for an altercation with Portland Trail Blazers wing Nik Batum.

Rudy Gay is listed on the injury report for tonight’s game as well.  The 28-year-old forward has struggled with right Achilles tendinitis for nearly a month, but he is he is probable.

Reggie Evans (left knee and hip contusion) and Omri Casspi (left knee bone contusion) are both out for Sacramento.  This is the first game Evans has missed this season due to injury, while Casspi, who had an MRI on his knee last week, has missed the last five games.

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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".