The New Orleans Pelicans announced on Wednesday that All-Star forward Zion Williamson’s will be out for at least two more weeks due to his hamstring strain. Williamson underwent new imaging, which showed that he is progressing well but still needs more time to recover, per the team.
According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, the Pelicans are still planning for Williamson to rejoin the team before the playoffs. At this point, however, it is not even clear if the Pelicans will get there. At 32-34, New Orleans has slipped to No. 10 in the Western Conference. With less than a month left in the regular season, there is very little time for Williamson to ramp up. If the Pelicans continue losing games, they will eventually need to ask themselves if the risk of bringing back Williamson outweighs the reward.
Williamson has not played since Jan. 2, when he left the team’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. After grabbing a rebound late in the third quarter, Williamson raced up the floor before pulling up at the 3-point line. He immediately gave up the ball and grabbed at his leg, then checked out at the next dead ball. That is the last time we’ve seen him on the floor.
Based on the initial timeline, the Pelicans were hopeful that Williamson would only miss three weeks, though that always seemed optimistic. In fact, he was well past that timeline when he suffered a setback in early February that ruled him out of the All-Star Game, for which he was named a starter.
This is the latest injury problem for Williamson, who missed all of last season due to a broken foot and subsequent complications with his recovery. Since being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, he has still only played 114 career games.
When he has been on the floor, he’s been awesome, which only increases the frustration for both him and the Pelicans. In 29 games prior to the hamstring issue, he averaged 26 points, seven rebounds and 4.6 assists, while shooting 60.8 percent from the field. Thanks to his stellar play, the Pelicans got off to a 23-13 start and were just a game out of first place in the Western Conference at the start of the New Year. Since then, however, they have collapsed and now sit in 10th place at 32-34. With so little time left before the playoffs, bringing him back may not even be feasible.
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Publish Date:2023-03-12 04:53:21