Pelicans’ Zion Williamson out at least 2 more weeks

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Zion Williamson will be out at least two more weeks as the New Orleans Pelicans monitor the All-Star forward’s recovery from a right hamstring injury that occurred more than two months ago, the club announced Wednesday night .

Recent medical images “revealed Williamson’s hamstring continues to heal,” the club said in a statement. “His next exam will be in about two weeks.”

After this next exam, the Pelicans have 10 games left in the regular season.

New Orleans is 8-20 since Williamson’s injury on Jan. 2 and entered Wednesday night’s action in a three-way tie for 10th place in the Western Conference with a 31-34 record.

The Pelicans must now play at least the next seven games without the 6-foot-6, 285-pound Williamson, who has averaged 26 points and seven rebounds in 29 games this season.

“My first thought is always for Z. It’s been tough dealing with the hamstring and working to get back and having the same problem again,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said, referring to the setback that Williamson had in his recovery shortly before the All-Star Game.

The rest of the guys know where we are. Guys have to step up,” Green said. “The time has come for us.”

Green said Williamson has been building strength, doing pool and place workoutsshooting on the track

“So he’s making progress, but we’re really looking at the last time he got to six weeks and wasn’t ready for listing,” Green added.

A first-round pick out of Duke in 2019, Williamson missed the entire 2021-22 season with a foot injury and most of his rookie season with a knee injury.

Since turning pro, he has played in a combined 114 games out of 292 regular season games and none of New Orleans’ eight postseason games.

Last summer, Williamson signed a five-year rookie max extension with New Orleans worth between $193 million and $231 million, depending on incentives.

Report from The Associated Press.

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