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Report: Pelicans’ Zion Williamson expected to miss season

Pelicans star Zion Williamson

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - MARCH 15: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans stands next to the bench during the third quarter of an NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Smoothie King Center on March 15, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

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Pelicans lead executive David Griffin said in September of Zion Williamson’s foot injury, “His timeline should get him back on the court in time for regular season.”

When Williamson missed the start of the regular season, Griffin made the farcical claim he meant merely that Williamson would return sometime during the regular season.

Well, Williamson apparently won’t do even that.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Sources said Zion Williamson is not expected to return to play this season, but that he is making progress toward on-court work.

What a downer for New Orleans. Williamson was progressing in his rehab.

The Pelicans will probably extend their season. They’re tied for ninth in the Western Conference with a 2.5-game cushion for postseason position. But the extra days of the play-in tournament or maybe even the playoffs apparently won’t be enough to get Williamson back.

Now, questions turn to how Williamson will approach his continuing rehab, how he’ll eventually reintegrate with his teammates and even whether he’ll return to New Orleans.