Not expected to return this season

New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson will likely miss his entire third season in the NBA.

On NBA Media Day on September 27, 2021, it was first announced that Zion Williamson broke his right foot over the summer and had to undergo surgery afterward. Shocking news, but both Zion and David Griffin, New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations, assuring everyone that he would be on the court on Opening night.

Fast forward almost six months to today and Zion has yet to play in an NBA game this season, and The Athletic’s Shams Charania has report that Williamson will not return.

This news doesn’t come as much of a surprise with only 10 games left in the regular season and after defeat after defeat. However, it is a huge regret to see the 2021-22 NBA season completely robbed of one of its first signed young talents.

During his second season in the NBA last year, Zion was an absolute monster – an unexpected giant with a strong scoring performance and strong in the paint. Zion is an All-Star (fourth youngest ever) and put up some ridiculous numbers, averaging 27.0 points per game while shooting 61.1% from the field. Out of the 61 games Zion has played in 2020-21, he’s scored 20 or more with an incredible 54!

Even before last season, Zion was a revelation. He averaged 22.5 points/game as a rookie. And through the first 20 games of his career, he’s scored the most points for a player in the NBA in their first 20 games since a Michael Jordan. Nor did he stop at 20 games.

Injury updates are unfortunately familiar territory for Zion Williamson

However, rookie Zion’s season was cut significantly short due to injury. A right meniscal tear during pre-season that required surgery caused him to miss the first 44 games of his career. Even his sensational sophomore year last season did not see Williamson leave as usual. A broken finger kept him out of action for the final two weeks.

Back in his college days at Duke and high school at Spartanburg Day, injuries were unfortunately a common part of Zion’s basketball career. Given his size and his high game nature, it’s hard not to wonder at this point if he can stay healthy and on the court. But it’s also important to remember that he’s only 21 years old, and he’s always pushed back and persevered before.

History likes to repeat itself. And Zion loves to make history. Not expected to return this season

John Verrall

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