The New Orleans Pelicans have been dealt a blow as their star player, Zion Williamson, will be sidelined for the start of the season.
Zion Williamson, the New Orleans Pelicans star, will be sidelined for the start of the season due to a foot injury.
4:30 p.m. ET
ESPN’s Andrew Lopez
METAIRIE, Louisiana — According to New Orleans Pelicans vice president of basketball operations David Griffin, forward Zion Williamson will miss the start of the regular season due to a right foot ailment that necessitated offseason surgery.
Williamson had scans on Wednesday, and Griffin said the physicians were “quite pleased” by the bone’s mending after examining the images with Dr. Richard Ferkel and Pelicans team doctor Dr. Scott Montgomery.
Williamson’s return to play status, however, was not assigned a “set timeframe.” Williamson will have additional scans in two to twelve weeks, according to Griffin, and the team will proceed from there.
“Zion’s return to play as soon as safely feasible is everyone’s objective,” Griffin added. “Obviously, he won’t be on the court for the first week of games in two to twelve weeks. We will do it as soon as he is able to return safely.”
Griffin said Williamson hurt his foot prior to summer league in the early part of the offseason, but that “his timetable should get him back on the floor in time for the regular season” at media day on Sept. 27.
Following that, Williamson said, “I plan on returning for the first game. I’d say this is the first official game.” Williamson’s rehabilitation has had no setbacks, according to Griffin, and nothing has gone wrong.
Griffin said, “It just takes a certain length of time for men to lay the bone that the physicians want to see.” “This is where we are in our timeframe.”
According to Griffin, Williamson has been cleared to begin jogging and doing solo on-court exercises. However, it remained uncertain when he would be approved for further activity.
“We’ll be working toward that throughout the process,” Griffin said of Williamson reaching the point where he can play 5-on-5. “It’s possible he’ll accomplish it well before the 212 weeks are up. It’s just a consequence of how things unfold.”
Willie Green, the Pelicans’ first-year coach, will have to start the season without Williamson.
“It’s a must for [the game]. We miss him terribly “Green said. “He’s here, and he’s making progress, as Griff said. But we need to get the rest of the team ready since we have a game against Philadelphia on Wednesday. All we need to do now is be ready.”
The Pelicans’ starting lineup against the Sixers on opening night is still up for discussion. Green started Brandon Ingram and Naji Marshall as the starting forwards in the first preseason game he played. Green highlighted the fluidity of NBA lineups nowadays when questioned about putting Ingram up at power forward.
“In the NBA right now, I believe 3, 4, 2 are interchangeable,” Green remarked. “Unless you face certain teams, like as the Lakers, who may be somewhat larger. If you face Milwaukee, expect them to have a strong lineup. That’s when you really need to consider your beginning 4, 3, and 2. However, against many teams, 3 and 4 players are interchangeable, and BI may play any position.”
Two All-Stars, Williamson and Ingram, were expected to lead a Pelicans lineup that had more shooting this season, easing the load and amount of people each player had to deal with on the defensive end of the court. Now, much like they did in Williamson’s first season, the club will have to get out to a good start without its big man.
Williamson also sustained an injury in the preseason in 2019, which caused him to miss the start of the season. Williamson’s NBA debut has been postponed due to a damaged meniscus in his right knee.
“Obviously, it’s not ideal,” Griffin remarked. “It’s also not very debilitating. The goal is to get back as quickly as possible and safely. The way the physicians are treating the situation gives me a lot of hope that this will be the case. We’d prefer not to have to deal with that. But we’re quite pleased with how things have gone thus far.”
The pascal siakam injury is a foot injury that will keep New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson sidelined for the start of the season.
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