NBA

Zion Williamson's Pelicans return delayed due to foot soreness

By Sports Desk December 02, 2021

Zion Williamson's long-awaited New Orleans Pelicans return has been delayed due to foot soreness, the NBA franchise announced on Thursday.

Williamson is yet to feature for the Pelicans (6-18) in 2021-22 after undergoing surgery on a right foot fracture in the offseason.

The 2019 number one draft pick had been cleared to participate in full team activities, though he was held out from Thursday's session due to soreness.

"It's a part of the process," Pelicans head coach Willie Green said. "When you're dealing with injuries and you ramp up some, there's a possibility you can deal with a little bit of soreness which he's dealing with now.

Williamson is in his third year as a professional, however the 21-year-old has so far seen his hugely promising career hindered by injury.

The power forward did not make his NBA debut until January in the 2019-20 campaign after tearing his meniscus in his rookie preseason, while relatively minor issues limited Williamson to 61 games in 2020-21.

"We're very optimistic in that sense," Green added. "Hopefully the soreness goes away in a few days and he can get back to work."

"It's more important to be patient," Green said. "We're talking about somebody's career. Anytime you're dealing with that aspect of professional sports, that is important to remember.

"That's how we're looking at this. It's being diligent about getting him back on the floor. And that's a part of what we're dealing with right now."

Despite concerns about the forward's durability, Williamson has excelled against NBA opposition.

After 22.5 points per game in his rookie year, he improved to 27.0 last season and will return on a streak of scoring 20 in 15 straight games.

"I think that's the biggest part of us wanting to dial back and re-evaluate where we are," Green said. "We don't want to put our guys on the floor and put their careers at stake or in jeopardy. All of our guys are too important to do something like that."

Related items

  • Allen banned for one game for foul that fractured Caruso's wrist Allen banned for one game for foul that fractured Caruso's wrist

    Grayson Allen has been handed a one-game suspension for a foul on Alex Caruso that resulted in the Chicago Bulls guard fracturing his wrist. 

    Caruso was ruled out for six to eight weeks after landing awkwardly following "unnecessary and excessive contact" from Allen during the Milwaukee Bucks' 94-90 win over the Bulls. 

    Allen was adjudged to have committed a Flagrant 2 foul and he was ejected from the game following the hard foul on the Chicago star as he drove to the rim in the third quarter. 

    An NBA statement read: "Milwaukee Bucks guard Grayson Allen has been suspended one game without pay for having made unnecessary and excessive contact against Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso, resulting in substantial injury to Caruso. 

    "Allen will serve his suspension on Wednesday, January 26 when the Bucks face the [Cleveland] Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, OH." 

    The Bulls were already without starting guard Lonzo Ball, who is out for up to two months with a knee injury. 

    Caruso has averaged 8.4 points, 3.9 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 27.7 minutes for the Bulls this season.

  • Middleton revels in Bucks finding different ways to win Middleton revels in Bucks finding different ways to win

    Khris Middleton said the Milwaukee Bucks are having to learn how to win in different ways after impressing in the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo against the Sacramento Kings.

    Having needed to rely on an impressive defensive showing against the Chicago Bulls, it was the turn of the offense to turn it on in a 133-127 triumph against the Kings.

    Middleton had 34 points, while Jrue Holiday put up 26 as the Bucks chalked up another tick in the win column despite Antetokounmpo missing out with soreness in his right knee.

    "We just need to be able to win different type of ballgames," Middleton said after the defending champions moved to 29-19 on the season. 

    ''Every game is not going to be perfect, every game is not going to be pretty. To get defensive stops, to get 50-50 balls like we did [against the Bulls], it helps. 

    "When you hit shots like we did tonight, it also helps."

    Middleton made a key three-pointer with one minute and nine seconds remaining on the clock, with the Kings having fought back to within three points.

    Holiday felt Middleton's effort was key in helping the Bucks get over the line.

    "I feel like this is what he has been doing," Holiday said. ''He makes timely threes. He makes big shots, especially in that moment when they had momentum. He just came down and laced them, took advantage."

    Donte DiVincenzo (20 points), George Hill (17) and Pat Connaughton (15) all made valuable contributions for Milwaukee to earn praise from Middleton.

    "I think they were great," he added. 

    "Pat got hot for us. George did a great job at the point guard position, just controlling the team. Defensively he was all over the place, coming down for rebounds and helping box out. 

    "Pat has played so many different positions. It's weird to see him playing the center. He's a selfless guy doing anything that can help."

  • Bulls confirm Caruso to miss six to eight weeks after Allen flagrant 2 foul Bulls confirm Caruso to miss six to eight weeks after Allen flagrant 2 foul

    The Chicago Bulls have announced that guard Alex Caruso will miss six to eight weeks due to a wrist injury sustained in a controversial moment in Friday's 94-90 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

    Caruso will undergo surgery early next week for a fractured right wrist, having been fouled by Milwaukee's Grayson Allen, who was subsequently ejected.

    The former Lakers guard joins Lonzo Ball on the sidelines for the 28-16 Bulls, who have lost five of their past six games.

    Caruso's agent Greg Lawrence called Allen's foul, deemed flagrant 2 by the officials, a "cheap shot" given the significant injury it had caused. Bulls head coach Billy Donovan had labelled Allen's act as "dangerous" after the game.

    The 27-year-old guard played out the game but admitted his wrist continued to bother him, impacting his shooting.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.