Eric Moreland’s rookie season is over, but the pain and discomfort he’s dealt with since July has been alleviated.
Moreland, who appeared in three games this season, had surgery Jan. 3 to repair a labral tear in his left shoulder.
The power forward, whose game is about energy, defense, rebounding and blocking shots, was undrafted out of Oregon State. But he impressed the Kings in a predraft workout and with his play in summer league.
The Kings signed Moreland after summer league, and he made the team with the hope he could continue to improve during stints with the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League.
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But the shoulder continued to bother him.
“It’s been torn since summer league,” he said. “I was just trying to battle through it, play through it as much as I can until I physically just couldn’t.”
The discomfort became unbearable.
“It was just time to get it done; it was hurting bad,” Moreland said. “It’s hard playing like that with a bad shoulder, especially the way I do. I just wanted to get that taken care off.”
Moreland said he’s not in much pain now. He said the rehabilitation from the surgery is about six months. The Kings expect Moreland to be ready for summer league in July.
When he returns, Moreland looks forward to playing without a harness, which he found “uncomfortable.”
“It’s designed for you to not be able to lift up your arm a certain way,” Moreland said. “It’s restricting, and if I did go back (with his arm), then my shoulder would go out. There’s times where it came out with the strap on.”
All-Star thoughts – Before Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Sleep Train Arena, Kings coach Tyrone Corbin was asked if he thought center DeMarcus Cousins was an All-Star this season.
“DeMarcus is a great player in this league,” Corbin said. “He certainly has demonstrated, in my opinion, he deserves to be considered one of the best big men in the league.”
Cousins entered the game averaging 23.8 points and 12.3 rebounds. He’d be in the top five in the league in both categories if he hadn’t missed 11 games because of illness.
In the latest results of fan voting, Cousins was eighth among Western Conference frontcourt players, of which the top three will start Feb. 15 in New York.
To be an All-Star reserve, Cousins must be voted in by other coaches. While some coaches look at stats, others seek to reward players on winning teams.
“To be totally honest, it is what it is,” Cousins said. “If I make it, I make it. If I don’t, I don’t.”
Still out – Guard Ramon Sessions (low back strain) and swingman Omri Casspi (left knee bone contusion) remained out for the Kings.
Sessions has missed the past nine games. Casspi has been out the past five.