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Zion Williamson clears protocol, available for Pelicans vs. Pacers

Dec 19, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) looks to pass the ball against Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday (21) during the second half at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Zion Williamson cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocol, the New Orleans Pelicans announced Sunday, making him available to play Monday against the visiting Indiana Pacers.

Williamson missed the Pelicans’ past two games while in the protocol. The 2019 No. 1 overall pick and 2020-21 All-Star is averaging 25.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 25 games (all starts) this season.

The Pelicans still won’t be at full strength. Brandon Ingram, their second-leading scorer, will miss his 14th straight game due to a right big toe contusion.

Ingram has averaged 20.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game in 15 games (all starts) this season.

Larry Nance Jr., who like Williamson has missed the past two games, is questionable due to right Achilles soreness. Nance has appeared in 27 games off the bench for New Orleans and averaged 9.0 points and 5.8 rebounds.

–Field Level Media