The New Orleans Pelicans will open training camp without star Zion Williamson as the 21-year-old forward recovers from foot surgery this offseason.
New Orleans announced on Monday that Williamson, who made the All-Star team in 2021 amid a breakout season, suffered a fracture in his foot. The 6-foot-7 forward underwent surgery to repair the problem and is recovering nicely.
- Zion Williamson stats (2020-’21): 27 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 3.7 apg, 61.1% from the field
The surprising revelation comes after a turbulent offseason for the Pelicans. Rumors surfaced that Williamson’s family wanted him traded. Meanwhile, Pelicans’ general manager David Griffin received plenty of criticism for not doing enough to surround the team’s star with better talent this summer.
More recently, NOLA.com’s Christian Clark detailed some of the ongoing problems within the Pelicans’ organization and explored the rocky relationship between Griffin and Williamson.
New Orleans is hoping Williamson is cleared to return for the regular-season opener on Oct. 20 against the Philadelphia 76ers. But considering how cautious the Pelicans’ medical staff was with the young star in his rookie season, there are no guarantees he is on the court in October.