Having been out of the NBA action for almost a year, rising super star Zion Williamson is edging closer to a long-awaited return for the New Orleans Pelicans. The 21-year-old hasn’t played a game since May 2023 and has suffered from a fractured foot, after which he was out of action after crucial surgery to remedy the issue.
Following his initial injury and surgery, a number of other complications further derailed Williamson’s return, but at long last, it now appears that a comeback is on the cards. This really couldn’t come sooner for the Pelicans, who are currently in tenth place in the Western Conference and need a positive boost to help their progress to the post-season, which would now only really be possible via the play-in tournament.
With a player of Williamson’s ability back on the mend now might be a good idea to consider backing the Pelicans in the NBA betting, and with that in mind, we’d suggest you check out this website to see how Willie Green’s side is placed in the odds picture. Will the return of one player really make that much of an impact on the Pelicans’ odds in coming up tops or is it simply far too little far too late? It’s hard to say but we’ve all seen superstar players carry entire teams on their backs.
The Pelicans are, as it stands, at 27-37 overall but are actually on a good run of form of late, with Brandon Ingham playing a big part in their current 9-5 record since the beginning of February. Ingham mixed with Williamson once again can really take the team to the next level. Green is certainly hoping to have Williamson back in the line-up after his time out, but he is cautious in his optimism;
“We’re all pleased with the results, that he’s progressing. But it’s still a long road ahead of him,” Green says bluntly about Williamson’s return, “He’s aware of it, but he’s taking necessary steps to continue to improve. We’ll see how it goes.
“I think he can shoot spot shots now.” Green continues, “He’s getting better and better, but there’s not necessarily a timeline on when he’s coming back and when he’ll get on the floor. But when and if we get to that point, we’ll give you guys an update, and hopefully, we can get him back.”
Williamson was incredibly impressed with the Pelicans last season, when the team were averaging a healthy 27 points per game and in the 61 starts he made and, as a result, made it to the NBA All-Star game in 2023. It’s really the start for him as an all-star but those early performances really showed a real star on the rise.
Reports of a return are somewhat conflicting, however, with some suggesting that it’s far too early for Williamson to return so soon after what turned out to be a very severe injury that would only get worse without proper rest and care. Others have noted his young age and that he may well have healed enough to fully return to the Pelicans and to his budding career. But this could well be down to Williamson’s previous attempts to get back on the court, with Green himself trying to cool return talk;
“What Zion is going through is extremely difficult; I’ve been through injuries and know how things weigh on you,” Green explained, pointing out that. “For us, it’s important here to have compassion for what he’s going through.”
Team-mate CJ McCollum, along with the rest of the team, has been very quick to speak out about his unwavering support for Williamson at this tough time, stating recently;
“He’s trying to accomplish some things individually to get back to the team. That’s important for people to realize.”
For such a young player to suffer a big injury blow of this nature so early in his career, there will be concerns about how this might impact on his overall career trajectory. After all, many a promising professional sports career has been dashed by even fairly mild injuries that prevent the player from ever returning to full strength.
It becomes especially bad when a strong desire to go out there as fast as possible to prove to the world that you are worth investing in despite being a relative newcomer. This can lead to very bad, very self-destructive tendencies that can turn a season’s delay into a completely ruined career simply by not giving the proper care to a serious injury. It really is far better to play the long game by making sure you’re properly healed enough to play and healed enough that playing won’t cause much worse damage even months later.
Zion Williamson, is a six foot, six inches tall powerhouse who has made massive inroads with the NBA at a very young age. He was the fourth youngest player ever to be picked for an all-star NBA game. He’s young enough to give himself time to heal and talented enough to really make a comeback when his is ready and fully recovered. It would be a terrible loss if he rushed back when he wasn’t ready. When fully fit and proving his capabilities, Williamson has been a player that many have had high hopes for, and it may take a little time for him to get anywhere near his pre-injury best, and that may mean his return is leaning more towards next season.
Where this leaves the Pelicans is a bit unclear at the moment, but, on the other hand, their recent hot streak, steady improvement, and still high spirits means that they may still pull a rabbit out of their hat. And when you get right down to it, even if Williamson eventually only returns next season, the fact that there’s still a chance that he may finish the season off with the New Orleans teams will surely give them the boost of confidence to cash in on their recent wins.