"He will not need surgery," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said after Wednesday's practice. "DeMarcus, most likely, will not be back during the playoffs. You're probably looking at a couple months' recovery, so it's unlikely. But Rick [Celebrini, Warriors director of sports medicine and performance] told me that there are occasions where that injury heals faster. So we're leaving the door open, obviously."
Cousins, who signed a one-year, $5.3 million deal with the Warriors last season, missed almost a year of action after suffering a left Achilles injury as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans. Now he faces several more months of rehab to come back from his latest setback.
"More than anything, I'm just crushed for DeMarcus," Kerr said. "He's been waiting his whole career for [the playoffs]; and then the second game, he goes down after putting all that work in to recover from the Achilles. And he's had a great season for us; he's really come along the last month or so. I just feel bad for him."
The Warriors appeared to be more upbeat Wednesday, two days after blowing a postseason record 31-point lead to the Clippers in Game 2. Both Kerr and his players are hopeful that Andrew Bogut and Kevon Looney will be able to pick up the slack in Cousins' absence.
"Losing DeMarcus obviously hurts," Warriors forward Draymond Green said. "But we've lost guys in recent years that's extremely important to what we do, and we're still able to come out with a championship because it's that 'next guy up' mentality. And the next guy's gotta be ready to come in and give the team what he can give 'em. I don't think anyone's gonna give us exactly what DeMarcus gives us; but in saying that, we still need guys to come in and play their role."
Bogut rejoined the Warriors in March after having previously played for them from 2012-13 to 2015-16.
"I knew I was coming in as an insurance policy, to an extent," Bogut said. "A guy that could [fit] in straight away that knows the system offensively and defensively, knows the guys. ... I definitely didn't anticipate starting in the playoffs. But unfortunately you get a freak injury to DeMarcus and those are the circumstances we're in."
As the Warriors head to Los Angeles for Game 3 in a series tied 1-1, the Warriors are publicly leaving open the possibility that Cousins could return if the group continues playing into the Finals, but the reality is that group knows it must move forward without him.
"We're praying for DeMarcus," Green said. "For him to be in his first playoffs and then first quarter of his second game, go down with an injury like that, it sucks. We feel bad for him, and we're praying for him.
"Secondly, we got some depth. ... Signing Bogut now is even more important. Loon's been playing great and [Jordan Bell] gotta make sure he stays ready, as well as Jonas [Jerebko]. You never know which way it's gonna go."