HOUSTON -- Golden State Warriors injured center DeMarcus Cousins said he expects to play again this season after suffering a partially torn quadriceps muscle and envisions a "very nice ending" to the 2018-19 campaign.
"For me, my goal is I ain't planning on sitting," Cousins told The Undefeated after the Warriors' shootaround in preparation for Monday's Game 4 against the Houston Rockets in a second-round playoff series. "I don't know the reality of it. But for me, that is not what I'm planning on doing...It's definitely some type of bad movie. But I think it will have a very nice ending. Just wait for it."
Cousins suffered the quad injury with 8:09 left in the first quarter of Game 2 of a first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers on April 15. The Warriors announced the next day that an MRI exam revealed that the 6-foot-10, 265-pounder had suffered a torn left quadriceps muscle. Though the Warriors said the injury would sideline Cousins indefinitely and he would begin rehabilitation immediately, he was not ruled out for the rest of the playoffs.
Cousins suffered a season-ending torn left Achilles tendon in January 2018 with the New Orleans Pelicans. The first-year Warriors center returned to action on Jan. 18, 2019, against the Clippers. Cousins was ecstatic to learn that this injury did not require surgery and was not as serious as his torn Achilles.
"I was confident from the beginning once they told me the severity of it," Cousins said. "Talking to the doctors helped me understand the injury a little more. I started analyzing things and playing it out in my head. I'm going to take it day by day and work my ass off like I always do...
"Obviously, I was little more relieved that it wasn't anything catastrophic like I've dealt with before. It sucks to be injured anyway on top of that. The timing of it really f---ed me up the most. It's a part of this game, man. I'm not the first. I won't be the last."
Though the Warriors have said that it's unlikely that Cousins will return this season, head coach Steve Kerr offered some hope Sunday, telling the media: "He's coming along pretty well. We'll just have to wait and see."
Kerr added that Cousins' recovery was following a "normal progression."
Cousins said he temporarily "shut the world out" following the injury due to all the skepticism he heard, but he feels much better mentally now. He moved well when he took part in a jump-shooting routine following the Warriors' shootaround on Tuesday at the Toyota Center. The athletic trainers and coaches joked with a sweat-drenched Cousins afterward that he moved well but shot poorly.
When asked about potentially returning in the Rockets series or at a future time, Cousins answered, "We will see."
"I'm taking it day by day," Cousins said. "I'm in better spirits, for sure. I kind of shut the world out. There are a lot of opinions out there. I shut the world out, went to my little zone and I'm taking it a day at a time.
"There were too many opinions. Everybody thought they knew what was going on. Everybody is a doctor. Just sit back and watch. I will do the rest."
Cousins averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game on 48.0 percent shooting in 30 regular-season games for Golden State. The four-time All-Star's two career playoff appearances came with the Warriors before he got injured. Cousins will miss his eighth playoff game Monday when the Warriors visit the Rockets.
"It's hard," Cousins said. "I wish I could be out there helping. But things happen for any reason. I'm not questioning any of it. I got something down the line that has me patient and working."
Cousins added that his family and his Warriors teammates "have been there for me" through his latest injury. The 29-year-old, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, was also surprised to learn that he has been an inspiration as well.
"I have had so many young players say I'm an inspiration for them," Cousins said. "I've never heard that from a player. For me to hear, that was pretty dope. And just some of the messages, they were saying I'm built for this and if anyone can do it, it's me. I think guys know my heart, my desire and my drive. I've overcome this before...
"My family and my team are the people I've leaned on the most. But I feel I've been through the worst. I know how to work. I know what it takes to overcome these things. I am going to do my part."