Steve Kerr Says DeMarcus Cousins ‘not Really That Close' to Warriors Debut

OAKLAND -- Even as DeMarcus Cousins gets closer each day to being ready for an NBA game, his return is not imminent, according to Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

Cousins has progressed far enough that the coaching staff is pondering strategies.

"We have thought about how we would use him," Kerr said Monday, prior to tipoff against Memphis. "Some of the actions that we run, we'd probably run more often with him than we'd run right now. I've thought about combinations, (whom) we would play him with, that sort of thing.

"But we're also not really that close. I don't want this to be about, ‘Hey, we're right there.' We're not right there. It's still going to be some time. So we're going to be patient and continue to give DeMarcus the space that he needs to prepare. And when the time is right, we'll have some things planned."

There have been no acknowledged setbacks as Cousins recovers from surgery in January to repair a ruptured left Achilles' tendon. The 6-foot-11 center spent Monday morning and afternoon in Santa Cruz practicing with the G League Warriors for the third time in eight days.

Dr. Rick Celebrini, the Warriors' director of sports medicine and performance, observed the session in Santa Cruz.

"I got a great report from Rick Celebrini," Kerr said. "He said DeMarcus had a really good day."

In an effort to get ready for NBA activity, Cousins will spend more time practicing with the Santa Cruz Warriors than his teammates in Oakland. The G League practices are more demanding, and that intensity is what's needed before he can be cleared for NBA game action.

[RELATED: Watch Cousins and Durant go 1-on-1 after practice]

The team has not issued anything remotely close to a timeline for Cousins to return.

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