Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

More than two months after New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson underwent knee surgery, the star rookie continues to make progress in his rehabilitation and the team reportedly still expects him to make his debut this season.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Williamson is scheduled to begin contact drills within the next two weeks, a key step in his recovery from surgery on his torn meniscus.

According to the report, New Orleans won’t place a firm timetable on Williamson’s return to the court, but the organization “fully anticipates” that he’ll return this season.

While the rookie was only scheduled to miss six-to-eight weeks when he first underwent surgery, the Pelicans have used the additional time to work extensively with the 19-year-old on his dietary habits. Furthermore, the team is helping Williamson learn how to walk and move in ways that will allow his 6-foot-6, 285-pound frame to move far more smoothly with less strain on his ligaments and bones.

The rookie sensation has yet to make his debut in the regular season, but he’s certainly closer to making it happen than a few weeks ago. While the recovery process has been extensive, the Pelicans (9-23) can afford to take the long-term approach with their star.

Matt Johnson
NFL, MLB & college football writer for Sportsnaut. Graduated from San Diego State University with BA in Journalism, 2019. Grew up in Sacramento, now based in Indianapolis. Seen on MSN. Previously: eDraft, The Connection, With the First Pick