After undergoing further evaluation on Wednesday, Pelicans star Zion Williamson received a biologic injection into the fracture site in his right foot in order to stimulate bone healing, the team announced today in a press release.
Williamson, who has experienced a couple setbacks in his rehab process this month, will be limited to “low-impact, partial weight-bearing activites” for the foreseeable future, according to the team. The Pelicans say they’ll have another update on the former No. 1 overall pick in about four-to-six weeks, when further imaging is conducted on his foot.
Andrew Lopez of ESPN (video link) said during a TV appearance earlier this week that Williamson’s recovery from offseason foot surgery isn’t a “shut him down for the season”-type issue, adding that the Pelicans believe Zion will return at some point in the new year. However, today’s news is the latest in a series of discouraging updates on the forward’s recovery process since he told reporters on Media Day that he hoped to play on opening night.
A four-to-six week timeline means it’ll be mid-to-late January before we get another update on Williamson, and there’s no guarantee he’ll be on the verge of returning at that point.
While I don’t want to jump to any conclusions, Zion’s ongoing absence could result in some difficult decisions for the 9-21 Pelicans at the trade deadline and in the 2022 offseason, when the 21-year-old will become eligible for a rookie scale extension.