Williamson had left the NBA's bubble in Orlando, Florida, because of a family emergency, but he returned Friday and tested negative for the coronavirus, per Malika Andrews of ESPN. League protocols required him to be quarantined through Tuesday.
The time away made him questionable to appear in Thursday's 6:30 p.m. ET matchup, which will be the first official game of the NBA's restart. Williamson did practice Tuesday and Wednesday.
"Literally any player on our roster who went 13 days without doing any physical activity, it isn't going to be a given that we would just cut them loose in that next game," Pelicans manager David Griffin said Monday. "Particularly a player that generates as much torque as he does. So we will see where he's at."
New Orleans knows how to survive without the 6'6", 284-pound South Carolina native as the rookie has only played 19 games this year because of a knee injury. A deep lineup led by Brandon Ingram and Jrue Holiday have helped the team through the exhibition games and should remain competitive when things start to count.
However, every game is important for the Pelicans with just eight contests to earn a playoff spot.
Williamson has proved he can be a key part of the team's success after averaging 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in his limited action before the season was suspended. Even if his conditioning is less than ideal, New Orleans could benefit from the Duke product being on the court in any capacity.