METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Zion Williamson has received a biologic injection that is meant to promote bone healing in the area of his right foot that he fractured this past offseason.
The Pelicans, who announced the new treatment for the face of the franchise on Thursday, said Williamson will be “limited to low-impact, partial weight-bearing activities for an extended period.”
Another round of imaging on Williamson’s foot is expected to be performed in four to six weeks, the club said, at which point there could be an update on his condition.
The club said the injection was given following consultation on Wednesday with Dr. Richard Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute.
The additional treatment came six days after the Pelicans announced last Saturday that Williamson had experienced a “regression” in his surgically repaired right foot, further delaying his long-awaited return to the court.
That was the second setback since Williamson was cleared in late November to participate in five-on-five practices at full speed. When he was scheduled to take part in his first full practice of the season on Dec. 2, the team announced that it wanted him to rest instead because of renewed foot soreness.
At that time, first-year head coach Willie Green outlined why the club was being cautious and patient with Williamson’s recovery, even as the Pelicans struggled to win without him in the lineup.
“It’s more important to be patient,” Green said. “We’re talking about somebody’s career. Any time you’re dealing with that aspect of professional sports, that is important. That’s how we’re looking at this.”
The Pelicans have started this season 9-21 without Williamson. But since beginning 2-14, New Orleans has gone 7-7 in its past 14 contests. The Pelicans next play at home Friday night against Milwaukee.
Williamson, drafted first overall out of Duke in 2019, played in just 24 games as a rookie because of a preseason right knee injury (lateral meniscus). In his second season, he played in 61 of 72 games, averaging 27 points per game.
He hurt his foot last summer while performing basketball drills with his stepfather, with whom he has entrusted his offseason training. The Pelicans revealed the injury on the first day of training camp in September, saying they hoped he’d be ready to play by the regular-season opener on Oct. 20. Williamson initially agreed with that timeline, which has since proved overly optimistic by several months.
Currently, there’s no definitive timeline for Williamson’s return.
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