The New Orleans Pelicans will be without star forward Zion Williamson for Wednesday's season opener against the Philadelphia 76ers, but it's likely that the 2019 No. 1 overall pick is out for much longer.
Williamson is recovering from a foot injury that required offseason surgery. During an appearance on SportsCenter, ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported that Williamson is without a firm timetable for getting back onto the court.
"No time soon," Windhorst said when asked about when Williamson might return. "The Pelicans are being very careful not to mention any timeline, but he is a few weeks away from getting reevaluated."
Windhorst went on to explain that New Orleans is moving slowly on Williamson's recovery to avoid aggravating his foot injury. Williamson also needs to get back into proper playing shape before he returns.
"He is not doing any kind of significant on-court work; he's just begun starting to run again doing one-on-zero individual workouts," Windhorst said. "I would say that it's likely weeks away. They obviously are gonna be very cautious, not only because of his foot, but because of his conditioning."
The 21-year-old Williamson is considered one of the most promising young talents in the NBA. He became the fourth-youngest player ever to be selected to an All-Star Game last season. In two seasons, Williamson has career averages of 25.7 points and 7.0 rebounds on 60.4 percent shooting from the field.
But Williamson has had trouble remaining on the court. He missed the first three months of his rookie season after suffering a torn meniscus. He sat out 11 games last season with toe and finger injuries. Windhorst said the Pelicans are becoming too familiar with Williamson not being on the court.
"The Pelicans are gonna start without Zion, but the problem is, they've been used to this," Windhorst said. "He's only played in about 50 percent of the games in the last couple years anyway."