Zion Williamson's Return from Foot Injury Delayed After Experiencing Soreness

Erin WalshDecember 2, 2021

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 13: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans stands on the court prior to the start of a NBA game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Smoothie King Center on November 13, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson didn't practice Thursday because the "soreness has persisted" in his injured foot.

ESPN's Andrew Lopez reported the update:

Andrew Lopez @_Andrew_Lopez

Zion Williamson is experiencing soreness in his foot and his return has been delayed. <br><br>Williamson did not practice today. The soreness has persisted. No re-imaging has been scheduled at this time. <br><br>Williamson will be dialed back before ramping back up next week.

Williamson has yet to play during the 2021-22 NBA campaign after offseason surgery on a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

After being drafted by New Orleans first overall in 2019, the Duke product was limited to just 85 games over his first two campaigns. Williamson tore his meniscus during the 2019-20 preseason and missed New Orleans' first 44 games before returning to play 24.

The 21-year-old played 61 games last season but missed time with a thumb sprain and a fractured left ring finger.

When healthy, Williamson is one of the best young forwards in the NBA. He has averaged 25.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 60.4 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from deep in his career. 

According to ESPN's Lopez and Brian Windhorst, the Pelicans have "poured resources, time and energy to protect Williamson's health," which shows how the franchise values his presence. 

Without Williamson, the Pelicans have struggled this year, going 6-18 for the fourth-worst record in the NBA.