Golden State Warriors center Damian Jones could possibly miss the rest of the season after tearing his left pectoral muscle in a game against the Detroit Pistons on the weekend, per the San Francisco Chronicle.
The NBA champions lined up against the Eastern Conference side on Saturday night, with Steph Curry returning to the fray after spending nearly a month out with a groin injury. But the superstar's comeback was met with disappointment as the Pistons grabbed a 111-102 win.
On top of that, the side has likely lost Jones for the rest of the campaign, something which comes as a huge blow as he started as a center in 22 of their 24 games this season.
Jones is to see a specialist in Chicago this week and he is expected to undergo surgery sometime thereafter. So far, no timeline has been set for the player's return to playing; but head coach Steve Kerr told reporters that he will be "out for a long time" after team practice on Sunday.
“I’ll be OK,” Jones said. “It sucks, but I’ll be fine.”
The 7ft big man was down for five months after having surgery on his right pectoral muscle two years ago and he is expected to be out for a similar period this time around.
Draymond Green, the team's prime center option, has missed the last eight games with a sprained toe and isn't expected back during the team's current road trip, which has three games remaining. But forward Alphonso McKinnie is hopeful he could return by Wednesday.
DeMarcus Cousins is “making strides,” Steve Kerr said. He will fully take part in every Warriors practice from here on out. pic.twitter.com/yHfbaZNp8r— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 2, 2018
DeMarcus Cousins will start full practice this week but Kerr has no plans on rushing him back to playing in the wake of Jones' injury and he should take the floor competitively sometime after Christmas.
“DeMarcus is making some strides,” the coach said.
“He’s looked a lot better to me the last couple days, the intensity of his workouts. We didn’t do any scrimmaging or anything today, but he took part in every aspect of our practice. He’s making some strides, which is exciting.”
What This Means
Jones' injury has left the Warriors in a bit of a bind. While he has had his struggles this season, the center was useful enough to have the team pick up his $2.3 million option for the 2019-2020 campaign and had been making important contributions in the paint.
They're now left with just two options at center - Jordan Bell and Kevon Looney - and are likely considering a roster move to soften the blow.
Kerr has since indicated that the team will weigh their options and make a decision on that front. But, as of Sunday, he said he had not discussed such plans with general manager Bob Myers.