When DeMarcus Cousins suffered a quadriceps injury last month in Golden State’s second playoff game, many thought he was probably done for the season. But the veteran center on Monday expressed optimism about returning this postseason, saying he anticipated a “very nice ending” to his 2018-19 season.

“For me, my goal is I ain’t planning on sitting,” Cousins told the Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears before the Warriors faced the Houston Rockets in Game 4 of their second-round playoff series. “I don’t know the reality of it. But for me, that is not what I’m planning on doing."

He added: “It’s definitely some type of bad movie. But I think it will have a very nice ending. Just wait for it.”

Cousins was injured April 15; he limped off the court during a first-round playoff game against the Los Angeles Clippers. The injury — a torn quadriceps muscle — was not only a blow to the Warriors, a star-studded team lacking in notable depth, but a major setback, personally and professionally, for Cousins.

The 28-year-old was appearing in his first postseason after spending his first eight seasons with the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans. He ruptured his left Achilles’ tendon in 2018 and returned in January after a year-long layoff. That injury crushed the free agent market for Cousins last year, and with a one-year, $5.3 million deal with Golden State, he was betting on individual and team success before seeking another contract.

The Warriors are seeking a third straight NBA title and fourth in five years but went into Monday’s game arguably fortunate to have a 2-1 series lead over the Rockets.

The primary bench players for the Warriors have been veteran guard Shaun Livingston and fourth-year big man Kevon Looney, so even with limited use, a return by Cousins would be an exceedingly welcome development. It probably won’t happen against the Rockets, but Golden State Coach Steve Kerr said Sunday: “He’s coming along pretty well. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Those comments represented something of a change in outlook from Kerr, who had said last month: “DeMarcus, most likely, will not be back during the playoffs. You’re probably looking at a couple months’ recovery, so it’s unlikely.”

Kerr, though, noted at the time that Cousins would not need surgery. He also added that his team was “leaving the door open” on the possibility of a return this postseason.

Cousins told Spears on Monday that he was “confident from the beginning” of his recuperation once doctors revealed that his quadriceps had only been partially torn and that the injury wasn’t close to the severity of his Achilles’ tear.

“Talking to the doctors helped me understand the injury a little more,” said Cousins, who was spotted Monday participating in shooting drills after the Warriors’ practice session. “I started analyzing things and playing it out in my head. … Obviously, I was little more relieved that it wasn’t anything catastrophic like I’ve dealt with before.”

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