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Zion Williamson experiences soreness, rehab delayed

Andrew Buller-Russ
NBA: New Orleans Pelicans-Media Day
Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

Less than a week ago, New Orleans Pelicans superstar Zion Williamson was fully cleared to return to basketball activities. However, after getting a chance to test his surgically-repaired foot, Shams Charania reports the 2019 No. 1 overall pick has experienced some soreness and has had to delay his rehab.

Shams goes on to mention Williamson’s road to recovery will begin again in about a week, as long as his soreness goes away. The Pelicans remain optimistic in Williamson’s approach and don’t seem to think this minor hiccup will amount to anything serious.

While the Pelicans never placed a specific timetable on Williamson’s return, this is seen as a slight setback. At the same time, they don’t want to rush back the face of the franchise before he’s clear of any previous ailments. The last thing the Pels can afford is another injury to their All-Star.

Williamson has yet to play this season for the 6-18 Pels. Yet, they are only 5.5 games out of the tenth and final play-in spot in the Western Conference. Jonas “Dirk” Valanciunas has stepped up in Williamson’s absence, averaging 18.8 PPG and 12.1 RPG across 31.3 MPG in 24 starts.

Once Williamson is able to take the floor, he should form a potent frontcourt pairing with Valanciunas and Pels’ leading scorer Brandon Ingram. First, Williamson needs to get back into basketball shape and these recent developments obviously won’t help.

Updates of Zion’s injury status have been hard to come by, but at least now there’s some clarity. Even if it’s not an ideal situation for Williamson or anyone affiliated with the Pelicans and their fanbase.

We can all hope to see Williamson back on the courts soon, he’s an electrifying athlete who plays with a lot of passion. Not to mention, it’s been way too long since we’ve seen a Zion dunk.