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The Pelicans’ reason for keeping Zion Williamson’s foot surgery a secret for so long

David Griffin Pelicans Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson has yet to play this season due to a broken foot. Missing their All-Star power forward has caused the New Orleans Pelicans to begin this season pitifully. They have only won two games, worse than every team but the Houston Rockets. Williamson’s injury updates have been the biggest topic of discussion surrounding the team.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Andrew Lopez reported on Williamson’s absence and how the franchise had handled it, as well as the possible trust issues between New Orleans and its young star.

The doctors Williamson has been working with had not cleared him to participate in contact drills until Tuesday. But the team has not handled this well from a public relations standpoint. It kept the injury and surgery quiet, sources said, out of respect to Williamson and his preference for privacy. Then instead of announcing a complete timetable, it did incremental updates that made it seem like he was having setbacks whether that was accurate or not. That strategy may have helped with the front office’s relationship with the franchise player, but it hurt the team’s credibility with its fan base. It has made it challenging to accept subsequent updates at face value.

The report also states that New Orleans is reworking their culinary practices to better benefit Williamson. His talent is obvious, as he averaged 27.0 points per game on 61.1 percent shooting, as well as 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists, last season. He has the ability to be a franchise-changing talent but staying on the floor has been a key issue in his young NBA career.

Williamson’s season debut has not yet been scheduled but he is making progress towards it. He is now cleared for contact drills as the Pelicans look to get him ready to play again.