New Orleans Pelicans PF Zion Williamson underwent foot surgery during the offseason and has missed the start of the 2021-22 season. The Pelicans have struggled without their All-Star in the lineup, dropping three straight games entering play on Monday night. How long will the Pelicans wait before bringing Williamson back? We check up on a potential return date and when the phenom could return.
Zion Williamson injury updates
Update, Jan. 5 - Williamson is continuing to rehab his foot injury and the Pelicans have been monitoring the player’s progress, per ESPN’s Andrew Lopez. Updates are expected in the next few weeks.
The Pelicans say Zion Williamson has been doing his rehab away from the team. He is still under supervision of the team.— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) January 5, 2022
Sources say the Pelicans arranged for transportation out of New Orleans for Williamson. Further updates on Zion's status are expected in the next few weeks.
Update, Dec. 3 - Williamson was seen putting up shots at Friday’s shootaround, suggesting he’s close to returning to the team. The Pelicans are at the bottom of the West standings and desperately need the star power forward back in action.
Zion Williamson getting some shots up at Pels’ shootaround this morning in Dallas. pic.twitter.com/035kM41uzF— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) December 3, 2021
Update, Nov. 16 - Williamson remains without a timetable for return, although New Orleans says he’s cleared for 1-on-1 workouts. He’s still a long ways from game action, and the Pelicans are going nowhere important this year. It might be best to shut Williamson down for the season if his recovery is not going as planned.
The Pelicans announce Zion Williamson has been cleared to participate in contact drills beginning with 1-on-1 workouts.— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) November 16, 2021
His next update will be on Nov. 24, which will determine if he can be available for full team workouts.
Update, Nov. 1 — Williamson is going to be out at least another 2-3 weeks, Pelicans coach Willie Green told reporters on Monday afternoon. Zion has been working his way back from offseason foot surgery and was set to be re-evaluated later last week or early this week. It ended up being the latter and now we have said update. So it looks like another month or so before Williamson can return. Zion got encouraging news from doctors, so chances are he’ll be fine and 100 percent upon return. Still, expect him to be eased back into action later this month or in early December.
Update, Oct. 26 — Williamson will go for further tests on his foot either later this week or early next week, NOLA.com reported on Tuesday afternoon. Zion was seen at practice on Tuesday doing some light running. He has yet to be cleared for contact and hasn’t returned to practice in a full capacity.
Before the season began, GM David Griffin told reporters that Williamson would not be ready for the start of the season. Williamson underwent tests before the season and all signs were positive with the healing of the bone in his foot. Despite that, the Pelicans still gave about a 2-week timeline before Zion would be re-evaluated. After that, it would be determined whether or not Williamson could be cleared for contact and full practices. Right now he’s only allowed to do running and individual drills.
Chances are we get an update this weekend or the following week on Williamson’s timeline. The Pelicans may not give us a concrete return date, since Williamson will need to get up to speed in practice. He also may be eased back on a minutes restriction, something the team has done in the past with Zion. Either way, we don’t have a firm date, but best-case scenario still feels like early-to-mid November for Williamson to be back in the lineup.