Pelicans will be left without a star forward Zion Williamson the opening of the regular season, executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin told reporters on Thursday.
Williamson who recovery from off-season foot surgeryhis right foot was imaged this week and doctors were happy with what they saw in these images, according to The Athletic’s Will Guillory (Twitter
links). However, even though the former No. 1 general pick has been cleared to compete, he still cannot exercise against other players, Guillory notes.
According to Griffin (Link to Twitter via Andrew Lopez of ESPN).
When Griffin first reported on media day last month that Williamson had leg surgery in the offseason, he expressed optimism that the 21-year-old would be ready to make his debut. That doesn’t mean Sion was defeated – perhaps the Pelicans are just being careful with their franchise player – but it’s still an ominous sign for a player who has dealt with leg injuries in the past.
Judging by Thursday’s announcement, it looks like Williamson has no chance of returning to play within the next two weeks, which means he will miss at least the first five games of New Orleans’ season. In his absence, the team will rely more heavily on the attacker. Brandon Ingram and center Jonas Valanciunas to deliver an attacking strike in the frontcourt.