New Orleans Pelicans star forward Zion Williamson won’t return to play until multiple weeks past the NBA All-Star break, Pelicans basketball operations chief David Griffin told reporters today.
Griffin said Williamson re-aggravated a right hamstring strain that has sidelined him since Jan. 2. Williamson’s injury will be re-evaluated sometime post All-Star break (Feb. 14-23), which will hopefully bring more clarity on a possible timetable for return.
Griffin said Williamson had progressed to 3-on-3 contact drills and was on the court when he suffered this latest setback.
Williamson has missed 20 games due to the injury, well over a month of time, after his initial timetable for return was set at three weeks. Holding the third seed in the Western Conference at the time of Williamson’s injury, New Orleans has gone 6-14 since (including a 10-game losing streak) and fallen to the seventh seed with a 29-28 overall record. That span also intersected with star forward Brandon Ingram missing time due to injury and a difficult schedule. In total, New Orleans is 12-16 this season when Williamson doesn’t play and 17-12 when he does play.
In 29 games this season, Williamson is averaging 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists on 60.8 percent shooting from the field. He was voted to become a Western Conference All-Star starter, an event he will now miss.