The New Orleans Pelicans forward and former number 1 overall pick has yet to play in a game this season. He is still rehabbing a right foot fracture, and he has had a setback or two in the process. Williamson is set to rejoin the team after their current road trip.
When Can We Expect Williamson Back On The Floor?
Zion has only played in 85 total games throughout his young career. Injuries have been a big concern for one of the most highly anticipated players coming out of college. ESPN’s Andrew Lopez reported that Williamson is progressing towards full weight bearing exercises, and has still not even played 1 on 1, which definitely means he is not playing full speed 5 on 5 any time soon.
The Pelicans are rolling right now with CJ McCollum, winners of 4 in a row. They have a solid young roster, but they are not serious title contenders this season. That is why I would expect the Pelicans to play it safe with Zion, and sit him for the rest of the year.
There is no real reason to run any risk with Williamson right now. He is still just 21 years old, and all the potential in the world. In his 85 games, he has averaged 25/7/3. That is really good for a player his age, especially when he has been shooting about 60% from the field.
Just remember, Joel Embiid didn’t play a single game in his first two seasons, be patient.
What should be expected from Zion when he does return?
If my guess is right and the Pelicans rest Zion this season, I would expect that the Pelicans will be super cautious with him at first. No back to backs, maybe a minutes restriction, anything they can do to preserve him.
I would imagine his plan once he is fully healed is to work on his conditioning. A strong offseason could potentially put Williamson to another level. Aside from injury, this is the other big concern with him.
He should be able to figure that out. With a mix of the rest from this season and the offseason, he should be back to his All-Star form. His sheer size allows him to bully defenders, that’s a skill that isn’t going anywhere.