New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins will miss the rest of the season with a left Achilles injury, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania. Cousins will undergo an MRI on Friday night to confirm the injury, but Wojnarowski reports that the results are clear.
Cousins suffered the non-contact injury late in Friday’s game against the Houston Rockets and had to be helped off the floor by teammates, unable to put weight on the leg.
Here’s video of the play where the injury happened — a hustle play where Cousins was chasing a loose ball.
Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry confirmed that it was an Achilles injury in a somber interview. Nearly all of the Pelicans players were equally solemn.
“It’s his achilles,” Gentry told reporters. “He’ll get an MRI. We’ll know the severity of it tomorrow.”
While the Pelicans finished off the 115-113 win over Houston, the immediate concern is Cousins, who had recorded a 15-point, 13-rebound, 11-assist triple-double before exited with the injury.
New Orleans has quietly pushed themselves into firm playoff standings, sitting at 27-21 and putting them at just one game back of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who sit with the fifth seed. (They’re 3.5 games ahead of the No. 9 seed Los Angeles Clippers.) However, Cousins’ absence this season will drastically change things for the team, putting pressure on Anthony Davis to lead the team on his own yet again.
This is awful news, especially given the severity of an Achilles injury. Cousins will become a free agent this offseason and almost certainly would have been in line for a max contract as a 27-year-old in his prime. Instead, this radically changes his outlook.