Zion Williamson continues to be sidelined with a knee injury and a specific return date has yet to be announced. Williamson’s initial return timeline was estimated to be between six to eight weeks which would have the rookie coming back sometime in December, per the Pelicans’ initial press release. The Pelicans’ star big man did provide a bit of a positive update earlier this month.
“[The rehab] is going very well,” Williamson explained to NBA.com. “Day by day, its getting better and I think it’s going very well. I do feel like it’s getting stronger day by day. The trainers and stuff are telling me day by day it’s getting stronger and I can feel the difference each day.”
The exact game Williamson sustained the injury is unknown, but the recent No. 1 pick informed the Pelicans about the injury during the preseason. Williamson noted that his plan is to take it “day by day.”
“It hurt at first,” Williamson noted to NBA.com. “But I’m not out forever so my mindset is just come back stronger, come back better so I can help my team. It’s just kind of ‘Alright, let’s go in, let’s get it done and start the recovery process.’ I’m just kind of taking it day by day. I think when I’m ready — there’s no real timetable — when I’m ready, I’ll come back.”
The Pelicans Will Not Rush Zion Back From His Injury
The Pelicans made Williamson the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft and are eying the big man’s long-term success when it comes to his return. Williamson missed almost all of the NBA Summer League then suffered his current injury during the preseason. Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry emphasized that the team is “not going to rush it.”
“Everything is fine,” Gentry noted, per USA Today. “Everything is progressing as it should. It’s a time thing. We’re not going to rush it and he’s not going to rush it. As far as the progress that he’s making, everything is fine and right on time.”
Zion Had Knee Surgery on October 21
Williamson was officially diagnosed with a torn right meniscus in October. The rookie had “successful surgery” on October 21 as the team detailed in a statement.
Zion Williamson underwent successful arthroscopic surgery today to address a torn right lateral meniscus. The routine debridement was performed by Dr. Jason Folk with assistance from Team Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Misty Suri.
Derrick Rose Believes Zion Losing Weight Could Help With His Long-Term Health
Former No. 1 pick Derrick Rose offered Williamson a bit of advice based on his own experience. Rose noted that early in his career a number of his injuries were tied to his weight, and after he dropped a few pounds it helped his overall health. Rose admitted to NBC Sports that Williamson is a different player than he was at his age.
“But Zion is in his own lane,” Rose told NBC Sports. “Just being that heavy, playing the way that he plays, he’s explosive. He’s an athlete I think nobody never saw before. His path is going to be totally different than mine, you know what I mean? He has to, for one, learn the league. I had a chance to learn the league, play through my mistakes and I got injured Year 3 or 4. He got injured right away. So he has to learn his body right away, learn the league, learn what his skills are, work on his skills.”