Zion Williamson Cleared for Treatment at Pelicans' Facility amid COVID-19

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 20, 2020

New Orleans Pelicans' Zion Williamson (1) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

The New Orleans Pelicans received clearance from the NBA to give certain players medical treatment while team facilities were shut down leaguewide amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Per Christian Clark of NOLA.com, the Pelicans medical staff submitted a formal proposal to the league explaining that it was "urgent enough" for Zion Williamson and Kenrich Williams to be able to rehab at their practice facilities during the NBA's hiatus.

As Williamson was rehabbing his knee following surgery to repair a torn meniscus in October, the Pelicans went through an extensive process that involved teaching him how to walk and run differently to improve the "kinetic chain of his body."

According to Clark, Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said the "flexibility aspect" is a critical part of Williamson's ongoing rehab that the team has been able to continue.

"They weren't able to do any court work during that period of time, but they were able to get the work in needed on the table, and so that was important," Griffin said. "We're grateful that the league allowed for that."

Williamson made his NBA debut Jan. 22. The former Duke star averaged 23.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in 19 starts before play was stopped because of the pandemic.

Williams missed New Orleans' last 27 games with a back injury before the hiatus. He continued to rehab at the team's Oschner Sports Performance Center during the shutdown.

The Pelicans opened their practice facility Monday for voluntary workouts that must adhere to strict NBA guidelines for social distancing.