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Report: Pelicans hopeful Zion Williamson will make NBA debut in January

Rookie was able to go through full practice on Thursday, has been working his way back from knee surgery.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson prior to a game against the Houston Rockets at the Smoothie King Center.  Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson may make his NBA debut in January, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported.

Williamson got in a full practice on Thursday for the first time all season.

It appears that the rookie sensation is on track to return this month, which is great news for the NBA. Despite the news, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry wouldn’t be an exact date or timetable on when Zion will make his NBA debut. So for now, we’re still left playing the waiting game on Williamson’s return.

When Zion does get back in the lineup, we really don’t know what to expect. I imagine he’ll be on a minutes restriction to start out and we already know he isn’t going to play back-to-back sets. I’d temper expectations from a fantasy basketball perspective to start out. Zion may not get the minutes and touches to be overly valuable. Of course, once he’s up to full speed we can expect Williamson to look like a No. 1 overall pick and potentially the generational talent everyone expects him to be. Brandon Ingram likely takes the biggest fantasy hit as a result. I’d also expect less from Jrue Holiday, JJ Redick, Derrick Favors, Jahlil Okafor, mostly role players.