Any hopes of seeing Zion Williamson play basketball any time soon took a major hit on Saturday afternoon. According to a report by Shams Charania and Will Guillory of The Athletic, Williamson’s surgically-repaired right foot is experiencing some lingering soreness, and as a result, the team has opted to shut him down for an undetermined period of time.
Pelicans’ Zion Williamson continues to experience soreness in his surgically-repaired right foot and is likely to be shut down from basketball activities for time being, sources tell me and @WillGuillory.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 11, 2021
Andrew Lopez of ESPN confirmed the report, adding that the bone in Williamson’s foot hasn’t healed in the way that the team expected.
Zion Williamson will be dialed back in his rehab process from surgery on his fractured right foot. Williamson’s bone has not healed the way the team expected and he will take some time off before proceeding, sources tell ESPN.
It’s unclear when he will return to the court.
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) December 11, 2021
Eventually, New Orleans released a statement that said the bone has in fact regressed.
“After experiencing persistent soreness in his right foot, Zion Williamson underwent medical imaging which showed a regression in the bone healing of his fifth metatarsal,” the team said. “As a result, the volume and intensity of his training will be reduced for an extended period to help allow for further bone healing. Additional updates will be provided as warranted.”
Pelicans executive David Griffin announced at media day that Williamson needed surgery on his foot over the summer, but did not explicitly say when that occurred. The team had hoped that his recovery process would lead to him suiting up in time for New Orleans’ season opener, that has not happened, and instead, Williamson has yet to play in a game this season. Earlier this month, there was a report that Williamson was getting all geared up to participate in his first full practice, but soreness in his foot led to the team opting to take things slow. At one point, a report indicated that Williamson had gotten above 300 pounds this offseason, which left the team concerned.
Now, the Pelicans are a team that has struggled to win games — they’re 8-20 on the year, which puts them in last place in the Western Conference — and will have to wait until their best player is able to take the floor.