We’re not going to get to unwrap Zion Williamson for Christmas — his recovery from surgery to repair the lateral meniscus in his right knee is going to take longer than that. He is not going to hit the original 6-8 week timeline.
Where is he in the process of returning? Here is what Pelicans vice president of basketball operations David Griffin had to say, via Scott Kushner of the Times-Picayune.
David Griffin said Zion is “fully weight bearing” on his knee. But said he’s still “a ways away” from his season debut.
— Scott Kushner (@ScottDKushner) December 18, 2019
The Pelicans always were going to be “overly cautious” — to use coach Alvin Gentry’s words — with Williamson, he is the future cornerstone of the franchise and they are not going to push his return. Especially with the team having dropped 13 in a row and fallen to last place in the West (a disappointing outcome for a roster that still had Jrue Holiday, J.J. Redick, Brandon Ingram and others). That record has turned New Orleans into sellers at the trade deadline.
New Orleans wants to get Williamson on the court this season, but there is no real timeline. This is going to happen at its own pace.