DeMarcus Cousins is progressing in his recovery from a torn Achilles tendon, and he's aiming to be ready for training camp and the start of the regular season.
The typical recovery time for an NBAer coming off a torn Achilles tendon is about six-to-nine months, giving Cousins - who suffered the injury at the end of January - a wide spectrum of realistic return dates.
"I'm looking forward to starting the season," Cousins told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears. "That's my own personal goal, so we'll see what happens. That's what I'm working on. The doctors haven't really given me an answer because of the time I injured myself and the amount of time that I have.
"It's basically open field because I have so much time. But for me, I'm shooting to be ready for training camp."
Whether the version of Cousins who returns next season resembles the one who mauled opponents to the tune of 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.6 blocks in 2017-18 is another story. Per Tim Cato of SB Nation, the history of players coming off Achilles tears is troubling, to say the least, as hardly any have even approached their pre-injury forms.
But Cousins - who's set to become an unrestricted free agent in July - is optimistic about the recovery process, which has come with the silver lining that he's gotten to rest his body for the past several months.
"I've never had this much rest probably since I picked up a basketball," he said. "I feel like it's been tremendous for my body. I feel great. I feel fresh. I feel brand-new. It's crazy to say. ...
"Some people may be aware, but they may not know about this injury. Usually you lose a lot of size in your leg and it takes a while to get that size basically where you have matching legs. For me, I didn't lose any size in my leg, so that's something that my doctors and the guys coaching me through this process have been raving about it. They are super excited about it."
Cousins added that he's gotten support from other players who've suffered the same injury, including Kobe Bryant, Rudy Gay, and Wesley Matthews. Like Gay and Matthews, Cousins suffered the injury in his free-agent season, so there's no telling how it will impact his next contract or whether said contract will come from the New Orleans Pelicans, who put together an inspired playoff run without him.
"These playoff games, watching my team finish out the season, watching these guys get credit, it's driven me crazy," Cousins acknowledged. "But I know my return is going to be that much more special because of the buildup, just this whole buildup of this process. I know my return is going to be special."