Though the Warriors have yet to establish an official target date, it is possible that DeMarcus Cousins could make his debut with the team sometime in December.
A team source recently told NBC Sports Bay Area that it’s “conceivable” the All-Star center could return before the end of the calendar year, and Warriors coach Steve Kerr seemed to imply as much Friday in saying Cousins could begin the final phase of his rehab in the G League.
“He’ll probably go down to Santa Cruz in the next couple weeks and practice with our G League team and get more live action. We don’t practice much, like every other NBA team, because we have so many games,” Kerr said after the team’s morning shootaround in Milwaukee. “He needs more intense, focused practice time and hopefully he can get some of that in Santa Cruz.”
Cousins has been recovering and rehabilitating since sustaining a torn left Achilles’ tendon last January as a member of the New Orleans Hornets. Upon becoming a free agent in July, he signed with the Warriors for the $5.3 million midlevel exception.
Cousins has passed every physical test thus far and there have been no setbacks.
“He’s working every day,” Kerr said. “His conditioning is improving. We want him to feel really comfortable when he gets back out on the floor. It’s a very difficult injury to come back from for anybody, but especially for a big guy.”
Kerr said the Warriors would not look to add another big man until Cousins is healthy and back on an NBA floor. Meanwhile, the job will fall to Kevon Looney, Jordan Bell, Jonas Jerebko and Draymond Green. Green has missed the last 10 games but was upgraded to questionable for the game against the Bucks.
In other injury updates, center Damian Jones underwent surgery Wednesday to repair his torn left pectoral muscle and likely will miss the rest of the season.
“He can begin rehabbing in six weeks,” Kerr said. “But he’s out for five, six months.”