Zion Williamson fully cleared for basketball activities, moves toward return
To update Brian Windhorst’s stat: Pelicans Zion Williamson updates 5, Pelicans wins 4.
There is no timetable for his return, but we are getting closer to seeing Zion on the court as he has been cleared for all basketball activities, the team announced Friday. Williamson had undergone foot surgery during the offseason.
The Pelicans will be cautious with Zion’s return — as they have always been around his injuries — partly because they need to be sure that Williamson’s foot is ready to handle the stress of NBA games. They also need to make sure he has worked himself into game shape, there have been reports of Zion’s weight being above 300 pounds.
That said, the fact he has been cleared for practices means we are likely just a couple of weeks away at most from him suiting up.
The Pelicans are 4-16 on the season and already 6 games back of the last play-in slot, with Fivethirtyeight.com giving the Pelicans a 13% chance of making the playoffs. Zion is the one player on the roster who can overcome those odds, he has averaged 25.7 points, 7 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game over his career.
Zion also has missed a lot of time due to injuries in his career. He missed time his one season at Duke with a sprained knee, then his first NBA season a torn meniscus limited him to 24 games. He had this foot surgery in the offseason and said he hoped to be available for the first game of the season at media day. The revealing of that injury and timetable for a return was a PR mess for the team, but it went that way because the team was trying to respect Zion’s wish for privacy.
The Pelicans can offer Williams a contract extension next summer.