Pelicans star Zion Williamson, who left a preseason game early last week with left ankle soreness and subsequently missed the finale, was a full participant in practice on Monday, per head coach Willie Green (Twitter link via ESPN’s Andrew Lopez). Green sounded non-committal about Williamson’s status for Wednesday’s regular season opener, but Williamson put speculation to rest by stating, “I’m playing Wednesday,” as Lopez tweets.
The 22-year-old former No. 1 overall pick looks to be in great shape for 2022/23 after missing all of last season with a broken foot, so hopefully the ankle issue is as minor as it seems.
Here are some more injury notes from around the NBA:
- Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said the team is hoping to get some 5-on-5 work in for Jaren Jackson Jr. “in the next couple of weeks,” tweets Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Jackson underwent foot surgery at the end of June and will miss the start of the regular season. Jenkins also said second-year wing Ziaire Williams missed practice on Monday with a non-COVID illness in addition to knee soreness, and his status for the season opener is up in the air (Twitter link via Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com).
- Raptors big man Chris Boucher, who’s dealing with a hamstring injury, was able to practice today and the team is hopeful he’ll be ready for the opener on Wednesday, per head coach Nick Nurse (Twitter link courtesy of Sportsnet’s Michael Grange). Eric Koreen of The Athletic relays (via Twitter) that free agent addition Otto Porter (hamstring) did not participate in practice and Koreen expects him “to be out for a little bit.”
- According to Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link), Jazz shooting guard Malik Beasley recently said his sprained left ankle feels “completely healed” he and expects to play in Wednesday’s season opener. Beasley was acquired from Minnesota this offseason in the Rudy Gobert deal.
- Marvin Bagley III admits “it was a little scary” when he suffered a sprained MCL and bone bruise in his right knee during preseason last week, writes Mike Curtis of The Detroit News (subscription required). “When I did it, all types of stuff was running through my mind,” Bagley said. “It was something I couldn’t have really prevented. It happened so fast. That feeling, I never felt it before. Getting up and not being able to put pressure on it, it was a little scary for me. God had his hands on me; had His arms around me, so that’s all I can ask for.” The big man added that he’s not going to rush the rehabilitation process and will only suit up for the Pistons when he’s ready, but he’s feeling progressively better every day.