Sacramento Kings

Kings’ Cousins has viral meningitis

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) before he’s introduced against the Golden State Warriors in the Kings season opener at Sleep Train Arena on Wednesday, October, 29, 2014 in Sacramento.
Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) before he’s introduced against the Golden State Warriors in the Kings season opener at Sleep Train Arena on Wednesday, October, 29, 2014 in Sacramento. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Hopes that the Kings would have their leading scorer and rebounder back in the lineup tonight have been delayed.

Center DeMarcus Cousins remains out of the lineup after being diagnosed with viral meningitis. Cousins will not play this week, the team said Sunday.

A Kings’ news release added: “The Kings medical staff recommends further rest before demands of an NBA schedule can be tolerated. He will continue to be monitored daily, with basketball-related activities expected to resume when his health allows.”

Cousins has missed the past five games because of what was first deemed a virus and then a viral infection.

The Kings host Utah tonight and play at the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. Sacramento hosts Houston on Thursday and Detroit on Saturday. The Kings are 1-4 without Cousins this season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state meningitis “is an inflammation of the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord.

“Viral meningitis is the most common type of meningitis. It is often less severe than bacterial meningitis, and most people usually get better on their own (without treatment).”

Most adults with viral meningitis recover within seven to 10 days. Symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to bright light, sleepiness or trouble waking up, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite and lack of energy.

The CDC states that a person can become infected through close contact with someone with viral meningitis and “you may become infected with the virus that made that person sick. However, you are not likely to develop meningitis as a complication of the illness because viral meningitis is not very common.”

Cousins was hospitalized Tuesday for rest and observation and released Wednesday.

He continues to be bothered by headaches. Cousins tried to play last Tuesday before headaches forced him to skip the game and go to the hospital.

Kings coach Michael Malone said after Saturday’s loss to Orlando that he did not expect to have Cousins today because he’d been unable to do anything on the court in more than a week.

Cousins first woke up ill Nov. 28 before the Kings played at San Antonio. The team sent Cousins back to Sacramento before the game to allow him to rest and hopefully play that weekend.

Cousins, however, was unable to find relief from his symptoms before being hospitalized last week.

Cousins was off to the best start of his career. He is fifth in the NBA, averaging 23.5 points, and leads the NBA with 12.6 rebounds per game.

Playing without Cousins has long been a struggle for the Kings. Friday’s win over Indiana ended a 16-game losing streak in games without Cousins, including 0-11 last season.

Follow The Bee’s Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

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