NBA Rumors: Zion Williamson not returning for the Pelicans this season?

Zion Williamson (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

NBA Rumors: There’s a belief that Zion Williamson may not return this season due to an injury for the New Orleans Pelicans.

The New Orleans Pelicans got off to such a great start to the season that it’s almost going to be a riddle when they possibly miss out on the NBA Playoffs completely. But a big reason why will be injuries sustained, as a surprise to no one, to Zion Williamson.

On December 30, 35 games into the season, the Pelicans were 23-12 and the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference standings. It finally seemed as if it was all beginning to click for the extremely talented Pelicans.

However, since that moment, the Pelicans have gone 8-22. An injury to Zion has completely derailed the season for the team. Zion last played a game for the Pelicans on January 2 and the team hasn’t been able to recover in any way.

At the moment, the Pelicans are clinging to the 10th seed in the West (and the final spot in the Play-In Tournament) but with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers hot on their trail, the expectation has to be that New Orleans is going to fall off playoff pace (especially with how the team has played in the last 30 games.

Heading into the offseason, the Pelicans will have to answer big questions for the team moving forward.

The New Orleans Pelicans must address the quiet concern in the room this offseason

New Orleans has to figure out what Zion is. But that could be easily said than done. When he’s healthy, he’s good. Really good. In fact, at one point this season, you can make the argument that he should’ve been in the discussions for NBA MVP. But the injuries are a very real problem for Zion.

It’s not a question of if he’s injury-prone. It’s very clear that he is. Perhaps the most unfortunate part of all this is the fact that he suffered a setback during his recovery process and there are whispers that he may not play again until next season.

Considering there are only a few weeks remaining in the regular season, it wouldn’t make much sense for the Pelicans to rush him back. At this point, I believe the expectation should be that he is going to miss the remainder of the season. But, who knows for sure? The Pelicans haven’t really given many updates regarding Zion’s rehab.

Injuries are one thing, but the fact that he’s now suffering setbacks is an entirely different issue that must be addressed. Is this a Zion issue? Is the way he is built the culprit when he suffers these injury setbacks? Is the training staff pushing him too hard in his recovery?

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The hope is that Zion can shake off these injury issues and help the Pelicans reach greater peaks as a franchise, but this is extremely concerning for the team’s franchise player.