Create
Notifications

Zion Williamson injury and return update: New Orleans Pelicans star receives injection to stimulate bone healing

Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans poses during media day
Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans poses during media day
Charles Eluemuno
visit

New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson has not played a single game in the NBA season. He underwent foot surgery during the offseason and has yet to return.

Although Zion Williamson was cleared for workouts in late November, the team said he suffered a setback in early December and shut down the former No. 1 pick. According to the Pelicans, foot soreness prevented the big man from getting back on the court.

"After experiencing persistent soreness in his right foot, Zion Williamson underwent medical imaging which showed a regression in the bone healing of his fifth metatarsal," according to a Pelicans statement. "As a result, the volume and intensity of his training will be reduced for an extended period to help allow for further bone healing. Additional updates will be provided as warranted."

On Thursday, the Pelicans confirmed Williamson will be out for another four to six weeks.

"Following a consultation and further evaluation with Dr. Richard Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute yesterday, Zion Williamson received a biologic injection into the fracture site to stimulate bone healing in his right foot," a team statement said.
"Williamson will be limited to low impact, partial weight-bearing activities for an extended period. Further updates will be given following further imaging which is anticipated to occur in 4-6 weeks."
Zion Williamson Medical Update:Following a consultation and further evaluation with Dr. Richard Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute yesterday, Zion Williamson received a biologic injection into the fracture site to stimulate bone healing in his right foot. https://t.co/sSD0rBq5yK

Without Williamson, the Pelicans' losses have compounded. Although New Orleans (9-21) has gone 6-5 in its past 11 games, the Pels started 1-12.

Missing him for at least another six weeks will be heart-wrenching for the team. Williamson has played in just 85 games since the team drafted him to lavish fanfare in 2019. He has missed more games than the team has played: getting in 24 games (of 72) as a rookie and 61 (of 72) last season and none of the 30 this season.

The franchise has missed having him on the floor as they figure out how to develop around its cornerstone.

Having Brandon Ingram back to lead the charge has helped. In that 1-12 start, New Orleans lost all seven games when Ingram was sidelined with an injury.


It has been a rough season for Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans

Being unavailable for extended periods can leave a player gutted, especially a rising star who has so much to offer. He sustained the injury during personal workouts in the offseason, and things have gone downhill since then.

Much has been made of Williamson's weight since he has been sidelined. Earlier in the season, NBA analyst Charles Barkley commented on his weight, saying it was as if he and Shaquille O'Neal had a baby.

Charles Barkley said “it looks like me & Shaq had a baby” when he saw Zion Williamson’s weight gain for the first time 😳Zion is now, allegedly, 315 pounds & is weeks away from an NBA return after a foot injury. Thoughts? 🤔 https://t.co/mXUr02DjbY

More recently, the 21-year-old seemed to have continued to put on more weight as ESPN's Tim MacMahon reported he weighs about 330 pounds.

While Zion's physique has been a blessing since he joined the league, making him play a special brand of "bully ball" we've not seen since The Big Diesel's era, it is becoming more of an issue as he currently does not look fit to play.

His history of lower-body injuries is concerning, considering how explosive he is for his frame. Basketball is a high-intensity game, and he would need to be at his best to compete at the highest level and help his team stay competitive.

Williamson has lived up to expectations when he has played. He was a preseason favorite to be named Rookie of the Year, but injuries derailed his season. (He did make the All-Rookie team.) In his second year, he was an All-Star while averaging 27.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 61 games.

Having Zion on the floor will be a significant boost for the Pelicans, but they will have to go on without him for the foreseeable future.


Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
Article image

Go to article

Quick Links:

More from Sportskeeda
Fetching more content...
App download animated image Get the free App now