Zion Williamson has been a revelation for the New Orleans Pelicans this season, and his performance is only getting better. The team hasn’t revealed much about their new star, but they did give fans some insight into what he’s like on the court.
Zion Williamson is the most highly touted NBA prospect to enter the league in recent memory. The New Orleans Pelicans have been keeping a secret from their fans all offseason, but now it has finally been revealed.
In his third season in the NBA, Zion Williamson has big expectations. Williamson is approaching the 2021-22 season completely fit and in the greatest condition of his life, after two injury-plagued seasons that offered flashes of a budding superstar.
At least, that’s what Pelicans supporters in New Orleans believed.
Williamson, it turns out, broke his foot over the offseason and had surgery to fix it. Oh, and the Pelicans kept the whole thing a secret for the whole summer until finally revealing it on Monday.
For months, the Pelicans have kept Zion Williamson’s ailment a secret.
This offseason, we haven’t seen much of Zion Williamson. There are no summer exercise videos, no public appearances, and very little social media engagement.
That’s because the All-Star forward has been wearing a walking boot for a few months now.
Williamson broke his right foot early this summer and had surgery to fix it, according to Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin at Monday’s club media day.
“Zion is coming back from foot surgery he had at the beginning of the summer — well, not quite the beginning of the summer, but earlier in the offseason before to summer league,” Griffin said. “He suffered a broken right foot, which was surgically repaired. His schedule should allow him to return to the court in time for the start of the regular season. That is our hope and viewpoint. We’re extremely enthusiastic about the prospects. Unfortunately, I’m sure it will come off as a huge negative for all of you. It’s not for us since we’ve been dealing with it throughout the offseason. We have a lot of faith in where things are right now.”
So, what was Zion’s reaction to the situation?
Zion Williamson is optimistic about starting the season healthy.
Despite the bad news, Griffin expressed confidence that his star player would be ready for the Pelicans’ season-opening game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct. 20. During his Monday press conference, Williamson seemed confident in that timetable.
Williamson said emphatically, “I anticipate to be back for the first game.”
His foot injury happened during an offseason exercise, according to the 21-year-old, and his rehabilitation has been smooth thus far.
He said, “It’s all part of the game.” “I believe I was overdoing it in training because I felt like I had this big chip on my shoulder — this huge rock — and I was just hammering away at it every day. However, the recovery process has been fantastic. It’s been great working with the team trainer every day.”
Is there reason to be concerned?
New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson warms up before a game against the Portland Trail Blazers | Getty Images/Steph Chambers
Williamson’s fractured foot does not seem to be endangering his start to the season, but keeping the injury and surgery hidden from the public raises a few red flags.
Was the team concerned that another Williamson injury would cause the fans in New Orleans to react irrationally? After all, in his two seasons in the NBA, the forward has only played in 85 of a potential 144 games. Since joining the Pelicans in 2019, he’s already battled with a torn meniscus, a sprained thumb, and a broken finger. Maybe the Pelicans believed that if fans learned of yet another operation, they’d panic out, even if the club understood it was just a small setback.
However, keeping Williamson’s condition a secret would only make fans of the New Orleans Saints and their top player feel worse. What more might the team be concealing if they’re prepared to keep significant news like that hidden from the public for months?
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