Injury Notes: Zion, Luka, Sexton, Markkanen, Avdija, Barrett

As the Pelicans move closer toward securing a place in the postseason, forward Zion Williamson is still pushing to return to action before his team’s season ends. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Williamson – who has been sidelined since January 2 due to a right hamstring strain – has progressed to participating in some “low-intensity” 3-on-3 with coaches, but hasn’t yet been cleared for 5-on-5 scrimmages or full contact.

Sources tell Charania that New Orleans, unsurprisingly, will take a cautious approach with Williamson’s ramp-up process and won’t rush him just because the playoffs are around the corner. Based on Charania’s reporting, it sounds like the Pelicans would have a chance to get Williamson back on the court if they play a full first-round series, but shouldn’t necessarily count on having him available for any play-in games.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Despite a report stating that the slumping Mavericks are seriously considering shutting down Luka Doncic for the season, the star guard told reporters that he intends to suit up on Wednesday vs. Sacramento, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. When there’s still a chance (to make the playoffs), I’m going to play,” Doncic said. The Mavs have officially listed both Doncic ((left thigh injury recovery) and Kyrie Irving (right foot injury recovery) as probable for Wednesday (Twitter link).
  • With the Jazz‘s play-in hopes still on life support, guard Collin Sexton (left hamstring strain) will be available on Tuesday for the first time since February 15, according to the team (Twitter link). However, star forward Lauri Markkanen has been ruled out for the game vs. the Lakers due to his left hand contusion.
  • The Wizards‘ injury list continues to grow, with the team announcing today in a press release that forward Deni Avdija will miss at least the next two games due to left elbow bursitis. The team isn’t yet ruling out Avdija for its final two games of the season.
  • Knicks forward RJ Barrett has been cleared to return in Indiana on Wednesday after missing Sunday’s game due to a non-COVID illness, tweets Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.
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