Pelicans head coach Willie Green provided a health update on Zion Williamson today, telling reporters that doctors are encouraged by the latest scans on the forward’s foot (Twitter link via Andrew Lopez of ESPN).
According to Green, Williamson is participating in 5-on-0 workouts and has shown the ability to cut, but hasn’t yet been cleared for 5-on-5 work. The plan is for the former No. 1 overall pick to undergo more scans in about two or three weeks in the hopes of clearing him to participate fully in practice and determine a timeline for his return (Twitter link via William Guillory of The Athletic).
When Pelicans head of basketball operations David Griffin first revealed on Media Day last month that Williamson had undergone surgery on his foot in the offseason, he conveyed optimism that the 21-year-old would be ready to go by the regular season. However, prior to opening night, Griffin walked those comments back, suggesting that he hadn’t meant the start of the regular season.
Even if Williamson is cleared to return to action in three weeks, which is an optimistic timeline, he’d miss about 12 more games for a Pelicans team that has started the season with a 1-6 record. New Orleans has playoff aspirations this season, but the club hasn’t looked good on either end of the court with the former No. 1 overall pick out of the lineup and risks digging a deeper hole for itself in the coming weeks.