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Windhorst: Pelicans' Zion Williamson Remains 'Weeks Away' from Foot Injury Return

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVNovember 11, 2021

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson, center, sits on the bench in street clothes in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in New Orleans, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The 76ers won 117-97. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson is still not close to a return to the court after suffering a fractured right foot.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst provided the latest on the forward Thursday (1:52):

"The good news is he is working very hard, he is putting in the sweat equity, he is getting closer, but he is still weeks away," Windhorst said.

Windhorst projected a December return for Williamson, who needs positive results from next week's scans before even returning to practice. 

Pelicans coach Willie Green provided an update on Williamson earlier this month, saying that the player is "progressing."

"He’s cutting, doing explosive work, running, so he’s getting closer and closer," Green said. "But it’s one of those injuries where we want to be really diligent, especially with the foot. We want to be careful with when we put him back on the floor at full go."

New Orleans has struggled mightily without Williamson this season, especially with Brandon Ingram also missing time due to a hip injury. The team is just 1-11 with eight straight losses heading into Thursday.

Williamson's return would go a long way toward turning things around after he averaged 27.0 points per game last year, eighth-most in the NBA. The All-Star added 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game while hitting 61.1 percent of his field-goal attempts.

The 2019 No. 1 overall pick finished 11th in the NBA in win shares, per Basketball Reference.

It makes his absence even more significant as the Pelicans must survive at least a few more weeks without Williamson.