Zion Williamson Injury Update
The Pelicans and Zion Williamson have a big injury update to share: the 6-foot-6 star will be out indefinitely with a foot injury. The news comes after Williamson showed improvement in his bone healing. The Pelicans also announced that Williamson would begin a slow, gradual ramp-up of basketball activities and full weight-bearing exercises. Meanwhile, the 6-foot-6 star will continue rehab in New Orleans.
Zion Williamson’s foot injury is more serious than a day-to-day issue
It appears that the New Orleans Pelicans are burying themselves in the standings with the news that star point guard Zion Williamson has a foot injury. Previously, the Pelicans had dismissed the issue, calling it nothing more than a “day-to-day” one. However, the news from Saturday’s MRI has changed that perception. Now, Zion may require another procedure.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Williamson will miss at least the first few games of the 2021-22 season. The star will continue to undergo medical tests over the next two weeks, and he is not expected to play in five-on-five basketball at the moment. Last year, he broke his foot in the offseason and had surgery to repair the fracture. This year, Williamson hasn’t played a single game, but he was scheduled to practice in early December.
The injury has caused soreness in Zion Williamson’s surgically repaired right foot. As a result, his rehab work will be scaled back. But even if Williamson doesn’t return to the court until November 4, he is expected to make his Pelicans debut this year. It’s a big blow to the Pelicans’ season, which was supposed to be his first. The Pelicans are 8-20 without Williamson.
A recent study found that a fifth metatarsal fracture caused by a Jones fracture didn’t affect a player’s performance, and there are no studies that suggest a correlation between a Jones fracture and the NBA’s rankings. The New Orleans Pelicans’ assistant coach Aaron Nelson has had some success managing fifth metatarsal fractures in other players.
The first step in Williamson’s rehab program is a surgical fix for his right foot. The condition has improved and the star point guard will begin full weight-bearing exercises soon. He will also gradually return to basketball activities, such as shooting and rebounding. Zion Williamson will probably be out for at least the rest of the ACC Tournament in Charlotte.
He’ll be limited to low impact, partial weight-bearing activities for an extended period
The Pelicans will be without star forward Zion Williamson for the next four to six weeks because of a foot injury. Williamson, who suffered a fractured fifth metatarsal during offseason workouts, has yet to play in an NBA game this season. During his rookie year, he missed nearly half the season with knee surgery. In the meantime, he will be limited to low-impact, partial weight-bearing activities for an extended period.
The Pelicans have scaled back Zion Williamson’s activity level until he can undergo further imaging. The 6-week delay is because he will need to be evaluated again in four to six weeks. A biologic injection has been administered to promote bone healing and will have to be repeated in four to six weeks. Meanwhile, Zion will be limited to low impact, partial weight-bearing activities.
In the meantime, the Pelicans will have to find an alternative to replace Zion. In the meantime, the team will still need to replace Zion in the starting lineup. Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas will carry the offense without Zion. Nicky Alexander-Walker and Will Hernangomez are also viable options for fantasy owners in deep leagues.
After the injury, the team will likely limit Zion Williamson’s activity to low-impact, partially-weight-bearing exercises for four to six weeks. The team has not handled this injury well from a public relations standpoint. They have kept the injury and surgery information private and incrementally updated the status of the star player. This has hurt their credibility with fans.
He’ll be back for the 2022-23 season
The Duke University star has been cleared to play without restrictions and is aiming for the 2022-23 season. Despite missing the entire season in 2018 and 2021, the Duke standout is a candidate to return to the NBA in the future. Williamson has played 85 games over the past three seasons and has yet to play in a playoff game. Williamson averages 25.7 points per game and shoots 60% from the field.
The New Orleans Pelicans did not mention Williamson in a recent email to fans, but the team did highlight CJ McCollum, Jonas Valanciunas, and Brandon Ingram. Zion has yet to play this season because of a foot injury, and is reportedly rehabbing in Portland, Oregon. He may have to undergo another surgery in the near future, though.
The news of Williamson’s injury has shocked the basketball community. The news was unexpected, but it does raise questions about his durability. The team has yet to disclose a date for his return. He is expected to be 100 percent by 2022-23. In season-long fantasy leagues, Williamson’s absence will have a negative effect on the Pelicans’ season-long standing.
The 2021/22 season was an emotional rollercoaster for Zion Williamson. After missing the first half of the season, he had to rehab a broken fifth metatarsal on his right foot and missed all of training and game sessions. However, recent imaging revealed continued improvement, and he is expected to be back in 2022-23. There’s no guarantee, but he will be back.
Aside from a healthy Zion Williamson can be counted on to deliver 27 points, eight rebounds and four assists this season. A five-year, $185 million deal with the Pelicans is expected to be announced on July 1. The Knicks have already signed another Blue Devil, Cam Reddish. The Knicks’ connections with the Duke standout have increased the likelihood of Williamson returning to New York next year.
He’s signed a five-year, $181 million extension with the Pelicans
After a disappointing start to the season, the New Orleans Pelicans have bounced back to a winning record of 18-15 in the last three months. New Orleans has been 21-32 in its last season, but that is largely due to the presence of Zion Williamson. The 6-3, 220-pound forward required off-season surgery to correct a torn meniscus.
The deal is a huge risk for Zion. Zion was already set to make at least $44 million in his rookie contract, and the first two years were guaranteed. That’s $13.5 million per year. But, if Williamson plays at least sixty games next season, that could make him an All-Star. The Pelicans have mismatched their information about Zion’s health and playing time.
After this season, Zion Williamson is eligible to sign a rookie extension. To be eligible for the maximum rookie extension, the deal must equal at least 25% of the team’s salary cap. Therefore, a five-year, $181 million extension is highly likely. Zion’s rookie deal also included a player option, so the Pelicans will keep him through 2022-23. In 2023-24, New Orleans can only extend the $17.5 million qualifying offer to Zion. If he declines, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent in 2023 or 2024.
The Pelicans’ front office needs to tread lightly with Williamson’s health. While it is a wise move, the team needs to protect Zion’s career. As long as the front office keeps the injury-free clauses in mind, the future of the Pelicans should be bright. If the Pelicans do nothing else, Zion Williamson will be a star in the NBA.
The Pelicans have a solid core of players and a championship-winning GM in David Griffin. The roster appears to complement Williamson’s skill set and the team’s overall talent. With Williamson and McCollum on the roster, the Pelicans could be a playoff team. Adding them could also provide motivation for Williamson to stay.