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Pelicans: Zion Williamson can return to play without restrictions

Sportsnaut
Apr 28, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;   New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) during warm ups before game six against the Phoenix Suns of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans said Thursday that star big man Zion Williamson was cleared to return to play without restrictions.

According to recent imaging work done on Williamson’s foot, the right fifth metatarsal bone was showing “continued improvement,” the Pelicans said.

Williamson missed the entire 2021-22 season while recovering from offseason foot surgery. He was on track to return early in the campaign, at one point being cleared for full basketball activities. But soreness returned and Pelicans doctors found in December that imaging “showed a regression in the bone healing.”

The No. 1 pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, Williamson has played just 85 games (all starts) for the Pelicans. He missed the first three months of the 2019-20 season due to a knee injury.

Williamson was an All-Star in the 2020-21 season, when he averaged 27.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in 61 contests. He has career averages of 25.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

The former Duke star told reporters last month that he would not hesitate to sign an extension with New Orleans, saying “I couldn’t sign it fast enough.”

–Field Level Media