Tuesday, September 27 2022
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USATSI

The New Orleans Pelicans have certainly turned a corner the past few weeks, going 6-4 over their last 10 games and are just two games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the ninth spot in the Western Conference. Acquiring CJ McCollum prior to the trade deadline has added another layer to New Orleans’ offense, while giving the Pelicans another scorer to add alongside Brandon Ingram

Yet while the Pelicans are experiencing a bit of success as of late, they’re doing so without franchise star Zion Williamson, who has yet to play a game for the team this season. Williamson is still recovering from foot surgery he had in the offseason, and has been rehabbing away from the team since January. He’s suffered several setbacks in his recovery journey, which has pushed his return date back several times, but the Pelicans recently announced that Williamson is showing positive progress in his right foot.

Per the Pelicans

“Recent imaging showed improved bone healing of the fifth metatarsal in Zion Williamson’s right foot. He will gradually progress to full weight-bearing exercise and basketball activities. He remains out indefinitely.

Although Williamson is still out indefinitely, it’s a step forward that his foot is healing properly and he will soon be cleared for full weight-bearing activities. Especially since it was recently reported that the former No. 1 overall pick might need to undergo a second foot surgery. But in regards to Zion’s potential return this regular season, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported a couple weeks ago that the Pelicans have been operating this season as if Williamson isn’t coming back anytime soon. 

It’s unclear how much Williamson’s timeline has changed with the Pelicans’ recent announcement, but they surely will be cautious in bringing their young star back given his injury history. For the time being, though, the Pelicans have managed to turn their season around after starting out 1-12. Recent big wins over the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers have shown that McCollum’s addition has helped New Orleans’ offense in the short term. And even if Williamson doesn’t return this season, the Pelicans have retooled a roster that should be competitive next year when Zion should be healthier. 

Source: CBSSports.com

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