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Is Zion Williamson playing Friday vs. Thunder?

The Pelicans held the big man out of Thursday’s game vs. the Spurs. We’re tracking his status for Friday night.

Milwaukee Bucks v New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans drives with the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks during a game at the Smoothie King Center on December 19, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Friday update: Williamson has been officially ruled out for Friday’s game.

Friday update: Williamson is unlikely to have cleared health and safety protocols in time for Friday’s game against the Thunder. The Pelicans haven’t submitted an official injury report but it’s safe to assume Williamson will not be playing in this game. We’ll see how New Orleans approaches the second night of a back-to-back but Jonas Valanciunas looks like a solid replacement option in fantasy/DFS lineups since Williamson is likely still going to be in the health and safety protocols.


The New Orleans Pelicans will face the San Antonio Spurs as part of just two games on Thursday’s NBA slate. New Orleans has been off to a great start this season, building on its playoff appearance from a season ago. One person leading that charge is Zion Williamson, who has returned after missing all of last year with a foot injury. However, he won’t be playing against the Spurs on Thursday night.

Williamson entered health and safety protocols Wednesday, which rules him out for Thursday’s game even if he returns a negative test ahead of the contest. We don’t know for sure if Williamson tested positive for COVID-19 or is a close contact but he’ll have to record at least two negative tests 24 hours apart to be cleared to return to play.

With Williamson out, look for Naji Marshall and Jaxson Hayes to possibly take on bigger roles in Thursday’s game.