New Orleans Pelicans vice president of basketball operations David Griffin revealed on Tuesday that Zion Williamson will miss the start of the season because of a foot injury that required an offseason surgery. "It's everyone's goal that Zion return to play as soon as safely possible," Griffin said.
"Obviously, two to 2½ weeks from now means he will not be on the floor for the first week of games. When he is able to return safely, we will do that." Griffin also revealed that the doctors were encouraged by the healing of the bone but he refused to put a fixed timeline on Williamson's return to the court.
"It just takes a certain amount of time for guys to lay the bone that the doctors want to see," Griffin said. "This is where our timeline is."
Williamson cleared to start running and doing individual workout
"Throughout the process, we'll be heading toward that," Griffin said of Williamson getting to the point where he could play 5-on-5.
"It may be well before the 2½ weeks that he does that. It's really just a function of how things progress." New Pelicans head coach Willie Green underlined that the Pelicans are missing Williamson. "It's a part of [the game].
We miss him," Green said. "He's here and he's progressing, as Griff spoke about. But we gotta get other guys ready -- there's a game coming up Wednesday against Philly. We just need to be prepared." With Williamson out of the lineup, Green was asked what position would Brandon Ingram play at the start of the season.
"I think 3, 4, 2 are interchangeable in the NBA right now," Green said. "Unless you play certain teams, you play the Lakers, they could be a little bit bigger. You play Milwaukee, they could put a big lineup out there.
That's when you really gotta think about your starting 4, 3. But against a lot of teams, 3 and 4 guys are interchangeable and BI can play either of those positions." Not having Williamson at the start of the season isn't ideal for the Pelicans but they are happy the recovery is going well.
"It's not ideal, obviously," Griffin said. "It's also not terribly debilitating either. The idea again is to return as soon and safely as possible. I think the way the doctors are handling this gives a great deal of confidence that that's going to be the case. We would love to not have to deal with it. But we're really happy with the way it's gone so far."