Pelicans news: David Griffin claims Zion Williamson will 'certainly' play this season
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Pelicans VP David Griffin claims Zion Williamson will ‘certainly’ play this season

David Griffin, Zion Williamson, Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin says rookie Zion Williamson will play this season.

Williamson underwent surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in October. He won’t return before the initial six-to-eight week projection of his knee rehab.

“Yes, he very likely will not be asked to take the pounding of back-to-backs initially,” Griffin said on the team’s television broadcast, via NBC Sports. “There will be a sort of ramp-up for him to getting back to where you would call him full strength, but he’s certainly going to be playing, and we’re trying to win basketball games. And quite frankly, we’ve done a horrible job of that.

“Where we may be failing in terms of the short term, I’m very confident that we’re succeeding over the breadth of what we’re trying to do, which is build a sustainable winner. And we’re well on our way to that, despite the current record.”

The meniscus surgery Williamson underwent is unknown, although most experts believe it was a meniscectomy rather than a true repair since the initial estimated timeline was six-to-eight weeks.

In his lone season at Duke, Williamson put on an absolute show. The forward averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 68.0 percent from the field, 33.8 percent from beyond the arc and 64.0 percent from the free-throw line.

After losing to the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, the Pelicans are now 6-17 and have lost eight games in a row.