NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Zayon Williamson’s recovery from a right leg injury has improved to the point that he can gradually resume basketball, New Orleans Pelicans said Wednesday.
However, there is no schedule when he can play the game.
The announcement came after doctors looked at recent images of Williamson’s foot and saw evidence of “improved bone healing.”
Williamson, who averaged 27 points and participated in the All-Star Game last season, was trying to return to training in mid-December after an injury that occurred in the summer. But an image of his foot at the time failed, and the club said Williamson would stop practicing and focusing on treatment.
Williamson then received a “biological injection” designed to improve bone healing. And with the permission of the Pelicans, Williamson left New Orleans in early January to continue rebuilding on his own in Oregon.
Selected first overall from Duke in 2019, Williamson played in just 24 games as a rookie due to a pre-season injury to his right knee (lateral meniscus). In his second season, he played in 61 of 72 games.
Last summer, he injured his leg while training in basketball with his stepfather, to whom he entrusted his off-season training.
The Pelicans discovered the injury on the first day of training camp in September, saying they hope it will be ready to play before the start of the regular season on October 20th. Williamson initially agreed to this schedule, which has since proved too optimistic for at least five months.
Without Williamson, the Pelicans started 1-12, but were constantly fighting for a place in the Western Conference playoffs. They also acquired senior security guard CJ McCall of Portland two days before the end of his term in the NBA in order to consolidate his recent achievements in the standings.
After losing four of five games after the exchange, the Pelicans returned from a break at the All-Star Game with one-sided victories in a row at Phoenix and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Entering a home game Wednesday night against Sacramento, the Pelicans (25-36) and Portland (25-36) finished 10th and last in the West, leaving 21 games in the regular season.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports