Zion Williamson injury update: Pelicans star cleared for full basketball activities after missing season

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson has passed his full return-to-game protocol and is cleared for full basketball activities, the team announced Thursday. Williamson didn’t play at all during the 2021-22 season due to a broken foot and his injury saga has had many strange twists.

On media day, the squad surprisingly announced that Williamson had broken his foot and had surgery over the summer, but was expected to be ready for the start of the season. It soon became clear that this was not going to happen, and Williamson’s timeline continued to be rejected.

He was briefly cleared for full participation in rehearsals in late November, but suffered a setback. Due to the persistent pain, he closed things up again and received an injection to facilitate healing.

When he resumed rehabilitation in January, he left the team and moved to Portland, Oregon. During that time, the Pelicans traded for CJ McCollum and Williamson never contacted his new teammate, who publicly denounced him on TV. In early March, Williamson returned to New Orleans and posted a video of him throwing a dunk between the legs despite not having been licensed for such activities. Later that month he was cleared for individual work and has progressed well ever since. Now, finally, he has been given the green light.

Without Williamson, the Pelicans started with a brutal 2-13, but were able to regroup in the second half of the season. McCollum’s swap helped them make a late push for the play-in tournament, and they ended up beating the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers to earn the No. 8 in the playoffs. There, they fought briskly against seeded Phoenix Suns, leading them to six games before retiring.

The future looks bright in New Orleans, especially if Williamson manages to stay healthy. He is looking forward to rejoining the squad next season and pushing for more playoff success.

“Being with the boys, being in Smoothie King, seeing the playoff environment,” Williamson said, “and the locker room – we have a special locker room. My first two years, it was a good locker room, but this year it’s been was more together. To be real, it sucks to watch from the sidelines. I just want to be out there. But just by seeing the potential, we have a lot of great pieces. I’m excited to take the field with those guys. “

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