Los Angeles Lakers center DeMarcus Cousins has suffered a torn ACL in his left knee, agent Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports told ESPN, putting his availability for next season in jeopardy.
There is no timeline for surgery.
Cousins’ visit to team physicians in Los Angeles on Thursday confirmed the diagnosis, which constitutes a third serious leg injury in the past year and a half.
“It’s no joke when you get injured,” Lakers teammate Kyle Kuzma said Thursday. “This is our livelihood and it’s something that we love to do. It’s unfortunate for a guy like DeMarcus because you just tell how much he loves basketball. Through all of his injuries, he’s kind of fought back, trying to get back as early as possible.
“That’s kind of how the ball goes sometimes. You just never really know.”
Cousins, a four-time All-Star, already had his mobility compromised with a left Achilles tear in January 2018 and a quadriceps tear in April.
Cousins, 29, was working out in Las Vegas on Monday when he had to leave the court after what one source described as “bumping knees” with another player.
The loss of Cousins could prompt All-Star forward Anthony Davis to play more center for the Lakers this season, with JaVale McGee playing more minutes at the backup spot.
Cousins signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Lakers in July. He was expected to be part of a team expected to be among the NBA’s elite this season. In his nine NBA seasons, Cousins has averaged 21.2 points and 10.9 rebounds a game.
He signed a one-year deal with Golden State, where he spent most of last season rehabilitating the Achilles injury before playing 30 regular-season games. He suffered the quad injury in Game 2 of a first-round playoff series. He returned in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against Toronto.