Zion Williamson Placed in Health and Safety Protocols, Out for Pelicans vs. Spurs

Doric SamDecember 21, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 12: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans warms up prior to the start of an NBA game against the Houston Rockets at Smoothie King Center on November 12, 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 will be out of the lineup for Thursday's game against the San Antonio Spurs after being placed in the league's health and safety protocols, per ESPN's Andrew Lopez.

This marks the sixth game the 22-year-old will miss this season, as he also missed time earlier this year with injuries to his foot and his hip.

When healthy, Williamson has displayed the skills that made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft. He is averaging 25.2 points on 60.3 percent shooting with 7.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists. It's been a welcome sight to see him back on the floor after his lost 2021-22 season.

However, the Duke product was forced to miss the entire year after undergoing foot surgery and dealing with complications in his recovery. It was yet another setback in the early part of his injury-riddled NBA career, as he was limited to 24 games as a rookie and appeared in just 61 games in his sophomore campaign.

While Williamson is sidelined, the Pelicans will rely on the potent scoring tandem of Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum to shoulder the load on offense. Ingram missed time earlier this season while he was in concussion protocol.

New Orleans will likely split Williamson's minutes at power forward between third-year pro Naji Marshall and veteran big man Larry Nance Jr.