Unfortunately for the New Orleans Pelicans and NBA fans from across the league, it appears as though All-Star forward Zion Williamson will not bet ready to go for the start of the 2021-22 season.
Earlier this summer, the third-year star suffered a fracture in his right foot that required surgery to repair. Despite this concerning injury, Pelicans executive David Griffin said he was “optimistic” that Zion would return for the start of the regular season.
On Thursday afternoon though, Griffin was forced to backtrack on these Sep. 27 comments.
The New Orleans franchise announced that Zion’s offseason foot fracture will be reevaluated in two to two and a half weeks and that there’s no current timetable for his return.
Though the Pelicans say they’re encouraged by his progress, fans from around the league are concerned about what yet another injury stint means for Zion’s young career.
Doctors will review imaging of #Pelicans All-Star forward Zion Williamson’s right foot in 2 to 2.5 weeks, to assess his progress in recovery from offseason injury. More: https://t.co/mzJyOKbMp3 pic.twitter.com/TTKFhiQiTY
— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) October 14, 2021
Zion Williamson (foot) will be re-evaluated in two weeks and there’s no return timetable for now, Pelicans’ David Griffin says.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 14, 2021
I want him to have a long, successful career. But with his injury history, Zion Williamson feels like he’ll be in the NBA for a good time, not a long time. https://t.co/p6e6fKeR4l
— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) October 14, 2021
Here’s what Griffin said about Zion’s injury on Media Day pic.twitter.com/aE4W40Woe4
— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) October 14, 2021
The start of Zion’s career has been pretty much a worst case scenario on all fronts. Injuries, effort, intangibles, PR, defense. You name it.
— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) October 14, 2021
Recent imaging done on Zion’s foot shows progress, but not as much as the Pelicans originally had hoped.
“Zion underwent imaging (Wednesday) on his right foot,” Griffin said. “(Doctors) who reviewed those images were very encouraged by the healing evidence there. They are very optimistic he will recover from this, and they have cleared him to continue his progression. The next step for him now will be running and on-court individual work.”
On Wednesday, the former No. 1 overall pick was cleared to run and participate in solo drills. He started those activities on Thursday morning.
“Given the nature of bone healing, there is no fixed timeline for his return to game action, but the doctors are very encouraged by this last batch of images,” Griffin said. “As he continues along his return-to-play progression, doctors will be using additional imaging that will take place two to two and a half weeks from now, as guides and landmarks for taking the next steps. It’s everyone’s goal that Zion return to play as soon as is safely possible.”
Through his first two seasons in the league, Zion has already been forced to sit out 59 games due to various injuries. But when he’s healthy, he’s proven himself as one of the most dominant players in the NBA. In his first All-Star season in 2020, Zion averaged 27.0 points and 7.2 rebounds on an incredibly-efficient 61.1 percent shooting from the field.
As one of the most electrifying young players in recent memory, the entire NBA world is no doubt rooting for a quick recovery.
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