Zion Williamson Rumors: Pelicans Star Making Progress in Foot Injury Rehab

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 6, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - MARCH 27: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans stands on the court prior to the start of an NBA game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Smoothie King Center on March 27, 2022 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 forward Zion Williamson remains out indefinitely as he rehabs from suffering a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot, but he is reportedly making progress.

"Sources say Williamson has progressed to more on-court work and is continuing to move forward in his rehab with Pelicans staffers," ESPN's Andrew Lopez reported Tuesday.

Lopez's tweet came after Pelicans head coach Willie Green told reporters Tuesday was asked about Williamson.

"He's getting on the floor, doing what he's supposed to do, but no further updates," Green said.

Williamson, who suffered the injury during an offseason workout and has been out ever since, averaged 27.0 points and 7.2 rebounds in 2020-21.

Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic provided an update on March 21 regarding Williamson and stated that he wasn't expected to return this season.

"Sources said Zion Williamson is not expected to return to play this season, but that he is making progress toward on-court work. So far, Williamson has been seen doing stationary shooting and is able to bear weight on his injured foot. New Orleans has 11 regular-season games remaining, which leaves an improbably tight window for Williamson to complete the team’s ramp-up stages ranging from one-on-zero to five-on-five scrimmaging. Williamson returned to New Orleans two weeks ago after rehabbing his fractured foot injury in Portland, and the 21-year-old has been cleared to gradually progress in basketball activities. He has been attending Pelicans home games and has appeared to be in positive spirits around teammates and coaches. Williamson underwent surgery to repair his broken foot last summer and had several return targets delayed this season."

Williamson, a former Duke star who went No. 1 overall to the Pels in the 2019 NBA draft, made the All-Star game in just his second NBA season.

The year before, Williamson sat for much of the year with a meniscus tear but still posted 22.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in 27.8 minutes per game.

He's obviously been a big loss for the Pels, yet he could still have an impact should New Orleans qualify for the postseason.

The team has overcome a 1-12 start to move to 34-44 on the year and appear slated for the play-in tournament. The Pelicans control their fate and need to win two games to make the playoffs.

When next year rolls around, New Orleans should threaten the top tier of the Western Conference with CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram, Jonas Valanciunas and Williamson forming a strong core four.

For now, they'll hope to make the playoffs for the first time since 2018.