Since suffering a knee injury that required surgery, New Orleans Pelicans rookie forward Zion Williamson has been on a steady pace in his recovery. With the expected six-to-eight week timetable well within the mix, there has yet to be a nailed down date for his return. That has created some questions about when Williamson will be back in the fold for the Pelicans this season. There is one significant indication that the date may not be when everyone was originally hoping to see the tantalizing Pelicans rookie officially begin his first NBA season.
Zion Williamson’s injury
The New Orleans Pelicans had an entirely new buzz around the organization and city after the selection of the promising big man that has brought back much hope and excitement.
But that had hit a snag before the 2019-20 regular season even begun with Williamson suffering a knee injury that required surgery to repair a torn right lateral meniscus in his right knee. The 19-year-old has been on the steady path towards recovery over the last several weeks as the team hasn’t been in any rush to speed him along in the process of getting him back on the court.
Williamson is viewed as the potential new face of the franchise with the chance to take the franchise to great heights behind his play that he showed some encouraging flashes during the preseason before the injury. Things now appear to have hit a standstill that could push his return date well beyond what had been anticipated.
Will Zion Williamson be back soon?
Over the last couple of weeks, Williamson’s return has become a prominent topic of discussion with his recovery hitting the six-to-eight week timeframe that was originally laid out.
However, there has been a bit of a hush over the situation as he hasn’t progressed to the point where he’s going through on-the-court activities. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, that alone could very well push him back to making his debut at some point early in 2020.
The Pelicans have been operating in this situation largely using kid gloves to make sure that Williamson doesn’t suffer any sort of setback. The organization knows the importance of allowing him to fully heal so that these types of injuries don’t become a reoccurring theme for him.
New Orleans did indicate earlier this month that Williamson was on pace to make his debut in late December, but the team looks to be more than comfortable letting that timeframe side a bit further to ensure a smooth recovery process.
Pelicans’ patience with Zion Williamson
Things haven’t exactly panned out in the manner that New Orleans had hoped to begin Williamson’s career, but the franchise has exercised much patience with the matter.
The Pelicans already know how to handle this situation, given that their previous star forward Anthony Davis had his slew of significant injuries that kept him off the court throughout his tenure. Williamson has shown to have promising talent that is infectious that could make him the cornerstone superstar talent for the organization for well over the next decade.
A significant piece of that puzzle will be managing Williamson’s health to get the most out of him on the court. That will undoubtedly feature the franchise taking it slow with working him back into the mix from the get-go with limiting his minutes and workload to allow his body to get reacclimated to the physical grind that the NBA entails.
Ultimately, the Pelicans will continue to allow Williamson to operate at his own pace in his recovery, which looks like a return to the court at some point next month.