Zion Williamson to Continue Foot Injury Rehab Away from Pelicans Under Supervision

Adam WellsJanuary 5, 2022

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) moves the ball up court in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in New Orleans, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Zion Williamson will continue to rehab his foot injury away from the New Orleans Pelicans' facilities, but under the supervision of team doctors. 

David Griffin, Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations, provided an update on Williamson's status on Wednesday:

"Since we notified everyone on December 16 of his latest imaging, it was decided then by our medical team to dial his rehab back to only partial weight bearing activities. He continues along that path. We also agreed that in order to put Zion in the best position to succeed, he will rehab away from the team at this time so he can focus on the task at hand."

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Williamson will be doing his rehab in Portland, Oregon.

Griffin told reporters during New Orleans' media day on Sept. 27 that Williamson underwent offseason surgery on a broken right foot he suffered over the summer. 

"He had a fractured right foot that was repaired surgically," Griffin said. "His timeline should get him back on the court in time for the regular season. That would be our hope and our view. And we're very optimistic about what that looks like."

More than three months after that initial announcement, the Pelicans have not established a timetable for Williamson to play in games.  

The Pelicans announced on Dec. 16 that Williamson had a biologic injection in his right foot to help stimulate his bone's healing. He was going to be limited to "low impact, partial weight-bearing activities for an extended period" with an update on his status expected in four to six weeks.   

In Wednesday's statement, Williamson called this "a very difficult process for me," but he will "continue to put in the time necessary so I can get back on the floor with my team and represent Pelicans fans and the city of New Orleans at the highest level."

This marks the second time in three NBA seasons that Williamson has missed time due to a significant injury.

The 21-year-old missed the first 44 games of his rookie season in 2019-20 due to a torn meniscus. He has averaged 25.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game in 85 starts in his career. 

New Orleans has the second-worst record in the Western Conference (13-25), ahead of only the Houston Rockets (10-28).