How long will Zion Williamson be out and will his latest injury derail the Pelicans’ title hopes?
With fellow All-Star teammate Brandon Ingram on the sidelines with injury as well, this latest development couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Pelicans
It seems like the Pelicans and their star just can’t catch a break. With reports confirming, that he’s set for another lengthy layoff following his most recent injury, the question on everybody’s mind is now ‘will he ever stay healthy?’
Zion Williamson set to miss multiple weeks with injury
According to reports, New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson will miss multiple weeks after he suffered a hamstring strain. On Monday night the injury was announced following a game against the Philadelphia 76ers in which Williamson appeared to have sustained the injury. The former No. 1 pick in 2019, could be seen grabbing his right leg after he had dribbled up the court. At that point, he was taken out of the game and did not return. On Tuesday, an MRI confirmed that Williamson’s injury was in fact quite severe and as mentioned before, we can now confirm he will be out for some time.
A History of Hurt: Zion Williamson has been plagued by injury
The frustrating thing for both New Orleans and Williamson, is that his injury comes at a time when Pelicans have got themselves off to a good start in the 2022-23 NBA season with a very decent 23-14 record. Indeed, they are just one game behind the first place Denver Nuggets as they prepare for Tuesday’s coming slate of games. In addition, it’s the latest injury in a line of problems that the Duke product has suffered since his career in the league started. Indeed, Williamson has not played any more than 61 games in any season since he entered the league.
In the 2019-20 season - his rookie year - he was limited to just 24 games, due to a torn meniscus. Then, there was last season where he didn’t play a single minute as he attempted to recover from a foot fracture. Complications during the rehabilitation process, compounded the situation and resulted in him being sidelined entirely. It goes without saying, that this is a major blow to both the team and their star, especially when you consider that Williamson entered training camp this year healthy and raring to go. In 29 of the Pelicans’ first 37 games, he averaged 26 points, 7 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.1 steals while shooting 60.8% from the floor to confirm the Pelicans as legitimate contenders in the Western Conference.
The Pelicans have another star injured
If things weren’t bad enough, the Pelicans are also dealing with the absence of another key player. All-Star forward Brandon Ingram, who’s been sidelined for 18 games with a toe contusion is definitely a central piece of the Pelicans puzzle. On Tuesday, head coach Willie Green disclosed that Ingram is “building up” to a return, but on the other hand, he did not specify when exactly that would be. The Pelicans have gone 12-6 since Ingram went down, but they had seen the return of Williamson. With the pair now out of the lineup, New Orleans will have no choice but to turn to CJ McCollum and Jonas Valanciunas, while hoping for their two All-Stars to make a quick recovery.