The Pelicans announced on Thursday that Williamson would miss Friday’s preseason game vs. the Knicks with right knee soreness and that he would undergo further testing. According to Wojnarowski, those tests have ruled out the possibility of a severe injury, but New Orleans is treating the issue with an “abundance of caution.” A full recovery is anticipated, Woj adds.
While it’s good news that Williamson avoided a major injury, his absence will put a damper on the NBA’s opening night next Tuesday, when the Pelicans are scheduled to face the defending-champion Raptors in the first game of a TNT doubleheader. The Pelicans also have nationally televised games against the Warriors (October 28), Nuggets (October 31), and Nets (November 4) within the season’s first two weeks.
With the No. 1 overall pick on the shelf, the Pelicans could use some combination of Brandon Ingram, Nicolo Melli, and Kenrich Williams to fill the available minutes at the four. The Pelicans’ depth at forward will be tested early, as sharpshooter Darius Miller is sidelined for the season with a torn Achilles.