The 21-year-old Pelicans star will miss the start of the season to recover from an operation on her right foot
False start. And unfortunately for New Orleans this is nothing new. Zion Williamson will start in 2021-22 in the pits, stopped by an injury to his right foot that was not supposed to be anything serious and that instead will keep him still for the first part of the season, without a fixed date for his return.
During the offseason, Zion underwent surgery to reduce a fracture in his right foot. The speech was unveiled by plenipotentiary Pelicans David Griffin, who added that the 21-year-old on which New Orleans is building the present and the future would recover in time for the start of the regular season, set for the Big Easy franchise for next Wednesday in home versus Philadelphia. Zion watched throughout the training camp and missed the first seasonal challenges: the more days passed, the clearer it was that the initial forecasts had been too optimistic. Williamson underwent a new check up yesterday: the doctors, Griffin explained, saw progress but only gave Zion permission to resume racing. For now, still no training with teammates, no matches, not even one against zero. Not exactly a good sign. The long with a unique physique (201cm by 128kg) will be reviewed again in two weeks, but the recovery times have not yet been finalized.
The injury is a new uphill start for Zion. He arrived in the NBA as the first overall pick at the 2019 Draft, surrounded by a hype not seen since the days of LeBron James. Instead of mid-October, his first NBA game came on January 22, 2020, in the 45th game of the season. Also considering the bubble, Williamson in his first NBA season played just 24 of the 72 possible games, still finishing in the best rookie quintet. In 2020-21, finished at 27 points and 7.2 rebounds on average in 61 games out of 72, Zion confirmed to be unique and devastating (La Gazzetta placed him in 20th place of the best players at the start of 2021-22), but also that his physique remains the main unknown of his career. His physical condition was joined by internal problems in New Orleans: Zion at the end of this season can sign a maxi contract extension, but he would be at loggerheads with Griffin and the Pelicans in the two years with him have never even come close to making the playoffs. This injury is yet another problem: for Zion, to whom the crystal champion label remains stuck, and for New Orleans, which faces a complicated year in which results are imperative for everyone. Those results that can only come if Zion is on the pitch. And for now it is not.
October 14, 2021 (change October 14, 2021 | 21:45)
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