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Zion Williamson “progressing” following foot surgery, still no timeline for return

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Zion Williamson is progressing, doing more on the court, but there remains no timeline from the Pelicans on when their young star might return to the court.

When training camp opened, New Orleans VP of basketball operations David Griffin dropped an unexpected bombshell that Williamson had foot surgery on the offseason. There have been questions about how much even the Pelicans knew about the injury before camp opened and how this has impacted Zion’s conditioning headed into the season (there are reports he weighs more than 300 pounds).

The latest update on Zion was vague and without a timeline, just saying he is improving and getting closer to a return. Here is what coach Willie Green said, via the Pelican’s official team website:

“You can see he is progressing and doing more and more on the floor,” Green said, motioning to where Williamson was doing light physical activity. “Once he has his latest round of scans, then we’ll have a clearer picture of where we go from here. But he’s getting better, he’s progressing, he’s on the floor now, running, doing a lot more. We’ll have an update soon.”

Asked if Williamson is able to run in drills, Green responded, “He can, but he’s just not full throttle in anything he’s doing in drills yet. (After his scans) hopefully we’ll be able to ramp him up even more after that.”

If he’s not running at full speed, he’s not near a return. There remains no timeline for him to get back on the court.

The Pelicans have started 1-3 without him and, while it’s a small sample size, they have scored less than a point per possession on offense without him in non-garbage time, ranking 28th in the league in offense (stat via Cleaning the Glass).

Zion said the days of the Pelicans missing the playoffs are over, but if the team digs too deep a hole before he returns, even if Zion instantly boosts the Pelicans offense, it may be too little, too late.