Zion Williamson Injury Update: Pelicans Shine For At Least 4-6 Weeks After Injection For Sick Foot

New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson will be re-evaluated in 4-6 weeks after receiving an injection to his injured right foot, the team announced on Thursday. Williamson underwent off-season surgery to repair the broken foot and as the bone has not healed properly, he has yet to play in a game this season. Earlier this month, he was due to return to training, but continued pain got in the way.

According to the Pelicans, Williamson will only be able to participate in “low impact, partially weight-bearing activities” for an extended period of time.

Williamson met with Dr. Richard Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute in Los Angeles, according to the team, and then received the “biologic injection into the fracture site to stimulate bone healing.” Ferkel has evaluated and operated on a long list of NBA players, including Joel Embiid, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

In the short term, this reduces New Orleans’ already slim chance of sneaking into the playoffs. Without its franchise player, New Orleans has gone 9-21 this season, with the 26th best offense, 26th best defense and 26th best net rating in the NBA. However, it has won six of its last 11 games and is just 3.5 games away from finishing last in the play-in.

Viewed from another angle, the Pelicans are just 3.5 games ahead of first place in the draft lottery. And since lottery odds for the league’s three worst teams are flat, New Orleans doesn’t have to be all the way at the bottom of the standings. Only the Oklahoma City Thunder, Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons are better positioned in terms of tank.

So the optimistic perspective is that the best thing the Pelicans can do for Williamson’s future is to be patient with his foot and draft a new potential star in June. When you think about the big picture, though, note that Williamson has played in 85 of the possible 174 regular-season games since drafting him, and they’ve had a different coach in each of his three seasons. New Orleans must make him healthy, keep him healthy and find some semblance of stability.