By BRETT MARTEL
AP Sports Writer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Zion Williamson will be sidelined for at least two more weeks while 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 imaging “revealed that Williamson’s hamstring continues to heal,” a statement released by the club said. “His next examination will take place in approximately two weeks.”
After that next examination, the Pelicans will 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 record of 31-34.
Now the Pelicans must play at least their 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 himself back and kind of having the same issue again,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said, alluding to a setback Williamson had in his recovery shortly before the All-Star game.
For the rest of the guys, we know where we are. Guys have to step up,” Green said. “It’s go time for us.”
Green said Williamson has been building strength, performing pool workouts and spot shooting on the court.
“So, he’s progressing, but we’re extremely mindful of last time he got to six weeks and he wasn’t quote ready,” Green added.
Drafted first overall out of Duke in 2019, Williamson missed all of the 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 total of 114 games out of 292 regular season games and none of New Orleans’ eight postseason games.
Last summer, Williamson signed five-year rookie max extension with New Orleans with a value ranging between $193 million and $231 million, based on incentives.
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