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Zion Williamson Clears Health Protocols; Will Be Available for Pelicans vs. Pacers

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 26, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 19: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts against the Milwaukee Bucks during a game at the Smoothie King Center on December 19, 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 Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson will be available for Monday's game against the Indiana Pacers.

New Orleans announced Sunday that he cleared health and safety protocols.

The 6'6" forward entered the health and safety protocols on Wednesday. Before that, he was sidelined for three games with a right foot contusion.

The 2022-23 season has otherwise gone according to plan for Williamson after he missed all of last year. Through 25 games, he's averaging 25.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists. He's also shooting 60.3 percent overall and 33.3 percent from three-point range.

It's exactly what the Pelicans wanted to see after they agreed to a five-year, $194.3 million extension with the 2020-21 All-Star.

For the foreseeable future, a level of cautious optimism will surround Williamson's health, though. That's why his extension reportedly includes incentives based on his level of conditioning.

You expect New Orleans to remain proactive when it comes to managing Williamson's workload and any minor injuries he picks up.

The Pels' hopes of improving upon a first-round trip to the 2022 playoffs will hinge largely on the health and performance of the 22-year-old. If he misses a game or two in the regular season, then it's a price you're willing to pay to ensure he's firing on all cylinders when the postseason rolls around.