Larry Nance Jr. Could Make Pelicans Debut On Thursday

It’s “looking good” for Pelicans forward/center Larry Nance Jr. to return from knee surgery and be available for Thursday’s game against Chicago, head coach Willie Green said today (Twitter link via William Guillory of The Athletic).

For his part, Nance told reporters, including Christian Clark of (Twitter link), that he’ll be playing “soon.”

Nance was part of the blockbuster trade that sent CJ McCollum from Portland to New Orleans, but underwent a procedure to address a right knee injury just three days after that deal was completed and has yet to suit up for the Pelicans. Getting him back will give New Orleans another option in a frontcourt that’s currently missing Brandon Ingram (hamstring) and Zion Williamson (foot).

A report earlier this week stated that Williamson is unlikely to play this season. However, the former No. 1 overall pick has been telling people around him that his right foot feels good and that he wants to return before the end of the season, sources tell Christian Clark of Williamson posted a video on Instagram on Tuesday that showed him throwing down a between-the-legs dunk, as Clark relays (via Twitter).

Still, according to Clark, there’s doubt within the organization that Williamson has enough time to make it back this spring. Green said today that Zion has been cleared to participate in 1-on-1 drills, but there are still several more steps to go in his rehab process before he’ll be able to play in a game, so he remains out indefinitely (Twitter link via Clark).

We’re still working toward being fully healthy, which he’s not,” Green said. “But he’s getting there. We’ll update you guys at that point, if we get to that point.”

Ingram, meanwhile, was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice and Green sounded uncertain that he’d be ready to go on Thursday vs. the Bulls, tweets Clark. Ingram hasn’t played since March 6 due to a hamstring issue and a non-COVID illness.

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