Update, Dec. 16 — Pelicans PF Zion Williamson received an injection in his foot and will be re-evaluated in 4-6 weeks, the team announced on Thursday afternoon.
Williamson will be limited to low impact, partial weight-bearing activities for an extended period. Further updates will be given following further imaging which is anticipated to occur in 4-6 weeks.— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) December 16, 2021
Williamson had suffered a setback in his recovery from offseason foot surgery and now he’s going to miss at least another month. Even if he’s re-evaluated after a month and everything checks out, it’ll take at least a few weeks to ramp up before returning to the court in an actual game this season. With that said, it’s likely Williamson is out at least another two months or so, depending on how his foot responds to the injections.
The New Orleans Pelicans are likely to shut down PF Zion Williamson from basketball activities due to soreness he’s experiencing in his surgically repaired foot, The Athletic reported Saturday afternoon. More reports are saying Williamson had a regression in the healing in his bone, which has caused the setback.
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson experienced a setback, team says. His foot showed a regression in the bone healing and training will be reduced for an extended period.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) December 11, 2021
Williamson had been working his way back from offseason foot surgery, a recovery that’s been taking longer than expected. Zion was cleared for basketball activities and appeared close to a return, but now it looks like the opposite is the case. It makes sense. The Pelicans aren’t competing for anything right now at the bottom of the West and there’s no reason to rush Williamson back. That could risk re-injury and we know Williamson already isn’t thrilled with the franchise. Hopefully Zion can make a full recovery and get back on the court this season.
This was sort of always going to be the case for NOLA. The team is 8-20 and while the Pelicans still have a shot at the play-in tournament, we know they aren’t competing for anything really. This could expedite Williamson’s departure from New Orleans. It’s pretty clear he doesn’t want to play for the Pelicans and is going through the motions until he can hit free agency. Williamson can become a RFA in 2023 and could force a sign-and-trade in a couple offseasons.
Anyway, as long as Zion is out, Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas will continue to carry the team offensively and will remain solid fantasy basketball assets. Herbert Jones should stick in the starting lineup as well and is an OK fantasy option in deeper leagues. Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Willy Hernangomez will also be leaned on with Williamson still out.