Pelicans' Zion Williamson has another setback in recovery from foot injury, returns remains uncertain

Matt Eppers
USA TODAY

Zion Williamson's return to the court has been delayed once again.

Williamson has had another setback in his recovery from a right foot injury, the New Orleans Pelicans announced in a statement Saturday. His training will be scaled back "for an extended period," leaving Williamson's season debut still uncertain.

"After experiencing persistent soreness in his right foot, Zion Williamson underwent medical imaging which showed a regression in the bone healing of his fifth metatarsal," the Pelicans said. "As a result, the volume and intensity of his training will be reduced for an extended period to help allow for further bone healing. Additional updates will be provided as warranted."

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The latest setback is the second in just over a week for Williamson. He was expected to return to full practice Dec. 2 for the first time since offseason surgery on his fractured foot. However, he experienced soreness in the foot and did not participate.

That came on the heels of Williamson missing the start of the season after the team initially expected him to be ready for the opener on Oct. 20.

Zion Williamson's return to the court remains uncertain.

Williamson's early career has been marred by injuries since the Pelicans selected him with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft. His rookie season was delayed until January 2020 because of a torn meniscus in his right knee, and combined with the COVID-19 stoppage, he was limited to 24 games.

Last season, Williamson fractured his left ring finger and missed the Pelicans' final six games but played in 61 of 72 games overall. He was dominant at times, leading New Orleans in scoring at 27.0 points per game on 61.1% shooting. The Pelicans stumbled down the stretch, though, and finished 11th in the Western Conference at 31-41.

New Orleans has been even worse to start this season without Williamson, falling to the bottom of the West at 8-20.

Follow Matt Eppers on Twitter @meppers_.