Posted by Royce Young
First, I definitely had to Google "abductor strain." (It's a strain of the muscle that's between the groin and the hip.) And that's what Kings' center Samuel Dalembert has, as confirmed by an MRI and announced by the team late Tuesday. The timetable for Dalembert's return is 4-6 weeks.
Two things come out of this: 1) It's a pretty big blow to a team that was really counting on Dalembert for inside help. Granted, he'll only miss a handful of regular season games, but muscle injuries like this aren't anything to rush back from. It can linger and be aggravated again any time throughout the year. And 2) This could be a big opportunity for DeMarcus Cousins.
Dalembert was locked in as the opening night starter for Sacramento at center, despite Cousins' outstanding preseason play. Now, however, Cousins will get serious playing time. The Kings could decide to move Jason Thompson to the 5 if they aren't comfortable starting Cousins yet, but regardless, the rookie should see a lot of floor time.
This hurts the Kings though because Dalembert is such an influential force defensively and on the glass. For a team that struggled on the interior last season, especially on the defensive end in both protecting the rim and rebounding, Dalembert was seen as the perfect remedy. And as so often happens, now he's hurt.
He'll be back by mid-November so it's not devastating, plus there will be more time for DMC. So it's not all bad news bears. But it's definitely not how you want to start the season.