Report: Pelicans' Zion Williamson to Miss 'Period of Weeks' with Knee Injury

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorOctober 18, 2019

SAN ANTONIO, TX - OCTOBER 13: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans shoots a free throw against the San Antonio Spurs during a pre-season game on October 13, 2019 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photos by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson's knee injury is going to delay his regular-season NBA debut.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Williamson is expected to miss a "period of weeks" to start the season because of the knee injury he suffered this preseason. Wojnarowski noted the injury is not considered severe, but the Pelicans are treating it with "an abundance of caution" and are confident in a full recovery. On ESPN's First Take, Stephen A. Smith reported the injury was a strained meniscus.

Yahoo Sports' Chris B. Haynes reported Williamson would undergo further testing on the knee. Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry told reporters he believed the knee was first injured Oct. 13 against the San Antonio Spurs.

Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports noted the knee was the same one Williamson injured at Duke.

The 19-year-old was the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft after winning the Naismith College Player of the Year award during his lone season at Duke.

The forward lived up to the hype and then some in four preseason games, averaging 23.3 points on 71.4 percent shooting and grabbing 6.5 rebounds in just 27.3 minutes.

But the Pelicans announced Thursday that Williamson was suffering from right knee soreness, which will keep him out of the Pels' final preseason game against the New York Knicks on Friday.

The release stated that Williamson "remained in New Orleans to undergo further testing and evaluation at Ochsner Sports Medicine."

Williamson only played nine minutes of summer-league ball after suffering left knee soreness following knee-to-knee contact in a matchup versus the Knicks.

Executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said in a release that the team was exercising "an abundance of caution" and that Williamson was well enough to "take part in training and conditioning" with the Pels' performance team.

While playing for Duke, Williamson suffered a mild left knee sprain Feb. 21 against the North Carolina Tar Heels after his left shoe blew out.

He returned March 14 in the ACC tournament quarterfinals and looked even better, averaging 26.4 points on 67.2 percent shooting and 9.1 rebounds for the remainder of his season.

Losing a potential generational talent in Williamson is a tremendous blow for the Pels, even with a roster as deep and talented as theirs.

New Orleans has a few options to fill more time in the frontcourt, including Jahlil Okafor, Jaxson Hayes, Nicolo Melli and Derrick Favors.

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