Zion Williamson's shock offseason foot surgical procedure provides one other foreboding setback for Pelicans

It isn’t simple within the Huge Simple for Zion Williamson who apparently is working by way of one more damage.

Talking at Media Day on Monday, Pelicans’ government vp of basketball operations David Griffin revealed that Williamson continues to be recovering from offseason surgical procedure to restore a fractured proper foot. Though Griffin stated that Williamson must be prepared by the beginning of the season, the surprising damage revelation caught many unexpectedly and offers a purpose for concern in New Orleans.

MORE: High 50 storylines coming into the 2021-22 season

Zion Williamson’s damage historical past

To date in two seasons, Williamson has struggled to remain on the ground, battling a sequence of illnesses that predates even his time at Duke. Williamson missed a number of months throughout highschool resulting from a minor knee damage sustained from a fall. 

The damaged shoe incident heard around the world at Duke resulted in a Grade 1 knee sprain that triggered him to overlook three weeks earlier than he in the end returned in time for the NCAA match.

After being chosen with the No. 1 general decide within the 2019 NBA draft, Williamson took a shot to the knee simply minutes into his NBA Summer season League debut which pressured the crew to close him down as a precaution. 

Then throughout the preseason, he suffered a torn meniscus which stored him out of the lineup and delayed the beginning of his rookie season by 4 months. He made an instantaneous impression upon returning however did miss the Pelicans closing two video games within the bubble resulting from proper knee soreness.

His second season went higher although he nonetheless missed 11 video games resulting from two separate hand accidents. A sprained thumb triggered him to overlook three video games in April, adopted by a extra severe fractured ring finger which pressured him to overlook the ultimate two weeks of the season.

By means of two seasons, Williamson has appeared in 85 of a potential 144 video games.

How Zion Williamson’s damage impacts this season

If all goes in response to Griffin’s plan, it should not have a long-lasting impression. Williamson can be within the lineup and as soon as once more inflicting ache within the paint on all who dare step in the best way.

However as we have seen for the reason that second New Orleans drafted the generational ahead, issues hardly ever go as deliberate.

Even when he does return in time for the season, Williamson’s restoration throws a wrench into the Pelicans’ preseason preparation. Not solely is New Orleans adjusting to one more new coach in Willie Inexperienced, it additionally faces vital modifications to the beginning lineup. Most notably, Devonte’ Graham takes over for Lonzo Ball as the place to begin guard whereas Jonas Valanciunas slots in alongside Williamson at middle, taking the place of Steven Adams.

Williamson operates because the hub for the whole lot that New Orleans does offensively and lacking valuable time throughout an abbreviated coaching camp places the Pelicans squarely behind the eight ball.

MORE: Over/beneath projection for Pelicans and remainder of NBA

Stress is beginning to construct for Griffin who absolutely doesn’t need Williamson to bitter on the franchise as Anthony Davis as soon as did. Already, there are rumblings that Williamson’s household needs him out of New Orleans, and in SN’s offseason grades, New Orleans acquired a D thanks partly to an uninspiring string of strikes that does not change its trajectory in any significant approach. And that was BEFORE the revelation of Williamson’s offseason surgical procedure.

Even with two additional spots up for grabs with the play-in video games each within the bubble and final season, the Pelicans missed the playoffs in every of Williamson’s first two seasons. They enter the season with an over/beneath of 38.5 wins in response to Fanduel, tenth within the Western Convention.

The Pelicans open their season on Oct. 20 at dwelling towards the Philadelphia 76ers.

Leave a reply