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Zion Williamson injury not thought to be awful, will still miss weeks

Zion Williamson, Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans rookie big man Zion Williamson’s knee injury is not thought to be severe, but the phenom is still expected to miss a “period of weeks” to start the regular season, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Williamson was ruled out of the Pelicans’ final preseason game on Friday night as a result of right knee soreness, marking the third knee issue the No. 1 overall pick has experienced over the last year.

The 19-year-old’s first knee injury occurred back in February while he was at Duke, when his shoe exploded during a game against North Carolina. Williamson then sustained another knee injury during Summer League, when he banged knees with a New York Knicks player.

Wojnarowski adds that the Pelicans are being incredibly cautious with Williamson’s current issue, but says that New Orleans is also very confident that the rookie will make a full recovery.

Of course, the Pels’ concern could result in quite a bit of load management throughout the 2019-20 campaign for Williamson even if he does get healthy, as the organization is likely not going to want to take any chances with their franchise player.

Considered by many to be the best prospect since LeBron James entered the NBA back in 2003, Williamson has had an incredible preseason showing and is coming off of a season at Duke in which he averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks over 30 minutes per game while shooting 68 percent from the floor, 33.8 percent from three-point range and 64 percent from the free-throw line.