It’s unclear when Pelicans forward Zion Williamson will return to play after undergoing offseason surgery for a right foot fracture.
On Thursday, Pelicans vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said Williamson will be re-evaluated in two weeks and that there is no “fixed timeline” on when he will return. Williamson will have more medical scans done in 2-2 ¹/₂ weeks when he is next evaluated.
The 21-year-old received scans on Wednesday, and Griffin said the doctors (Richard Ferkel and Pelicans team physician Scott Montgomery) were “very encouraged” by the healing of the bone in William’s foot.
“It’s everyone’s goal that Zion return to play as soon as safely possible,” Griffin said. “Obviously, two to 2 ½ weeks from now means he will not be on the floor for the first week of games. When he is able to return safely, we will do that.”
Williamson has been cleared to start running and to do individual court work.
“Throughout the process, we’ll be heading toward that,” Griffin said about Williamson’s progression toward five-on-five activities. “It may be well before the 2 ½ weeks that he does that. It’s really just a function of how things progress.”
Williamson’s injured his foot early on in the offseason, prior to summer league. During the Pelicans’ media day, Griffin said Williamson’s “timeline should get him back on the court in time for the regular season.”
Griffin, on Thursday, noted that there have been no setbacks in Williamson’s recovery and “it just takes a certain amount of time for guys to lay the bone that the doctors want to see.”
While William’s absence for the start of the season is “not ideal,” Griffin is optimistic with how his star’s recovery has gone.
“We would love to not have to deal with it,” he said. “But we’re really happy with the way it’s gone so far.”
Williamson, the No. 1-overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, has suffered a number of injuries over the past three years, including a torn right meniscus and a right knee injury he suffered while playing at Duke in February 2019.
New Orleans will need a healthy Williamson if it wants to make push for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Pelicans start their season at home against the 76ers on Wednesday.