Zion Williamson’s preseason injury wasn’t as serious as many feared initially, but it will still keep him on the shelf for nearly two months of the New Orleans Pelicans’ regular season campaign.
Williamson had arthroscopic knee surgery on Monday and will reportedly miss 6-8 weeks recovering from the procedure, which was to fix a torn meniscus in his right knee. The Pelicans reported the surgery and initial timetable on Monday afternoon.
That’s not nearly as bad a diagnosis as many feared when Williamson was put on the shelf for the Pelicans earlier in preseason. Williamson didn’t travel to New York for the Pelicans’ preseason matchup against the Knicks, with “knee soreness” the reason that made many worried he would miss the start of the regular season. That soreness was apparently the result of a torn meniscus, which required surgical repair this week.
Zion’s extremely brief preseason appearances were notable enough, but lingering injuries have shortened his time on the floor since he was drafted by the Pelicans first overall this summer. His NBA Summer League ended early as well.
It’s good that the Pelicans have been conservative about Williamson playing through injuries this early in his career, but going under the knife before he ever played a regular season game certainly wasn’t on the list of ideal circumstances for one of the most-hyped rookies in years. The 6-8 week timetable would put Williamson’s debut around Christmas, so perhaps optimistic Pelicans fans can pencil in his debut coming at Denver against the Nuggets on Christmas Day.