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Torn ACL to sideline L.A. C Cousins

The Associated Press

Center DeMarcus Cousins reacts after injuring his leg while with the Warriors during a first-round playoff game against the Clippers in Oakland, Calif., on April 15.

The Associated PressEL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — DeMarcus Cousins is facing rehab from another major injury, and the Los Angeles Lakers have endured their first big problem of a season with championship expectations.

Cousins was diagnosed Thursday with a torn ACL in his left knee, an injury that could sideline the six-time All-Star big man for much — if not all — of this coming season. Cousins’ agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management, said a timeline for surgery is being discussed.

Cousins, who spent last season with Golden State, got hurt earlier this week in a workout in Las Vegas. The ACL tear comes about 18 months after he ruptured his left Achilles tendon, and roughly four months after he tore his left quadriceps muscle during this past season’s playoffs.

Those previous injuries cost him a lot of games and a lot of money.

This injury is only going to add to those totals.

“He was going to be a big part of what we’re going to do,” Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma said after USA Basketball practice at the Lakers’ facility on Thursday, shortly after the severity of Cousins’ injury was confirmed.

Plenty of players from around the NBA turned to social media to send Cousins messages of support, including Pau Gasol, who wrote “You will come back stronger brother.” Golden State coach Steve Kerr — a U.S. assistant — said he was devastated for Cousins. Kerr also pointed out that the two games Golden State won against Toronto in last season’s NBA Finals, Games 2 and 5, were not coincidentally games where Cousins played particularly well for the Warriors.

“Injuries are part of the game but when you are talking about a player who has now dealt with the two most feared injuries for NBA players — the Achilles and ACL — each basically knocking you out for an entire season, to deal with that over a 2½-, three-year span, it’s unheard of,” Kerr said. “So I don’t know. What a blow for him, for the Lakers. He’s going to have to process it all and start all over again.”

The Achilles tear preceded Cousins’ 2018 trip to free agency, where he could have commanded a multiyear deal exceeding $100 million. He wound up having to sign a one-year, $5.3 million contract with Golden State.

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