Sat. Jun 10th, 2023

Zion Williamson Pelicans NBA

Zion Williamson, of the New Orleans Pelicans, speaks during a media availability as part of the 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah, on February 18, 2023. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon / AFP)

Zion Williamson said injuries are not holding him back, but he will only be ready to play in the postseason “when I feel like Zion.”

The Pelicans are in the play-in tournament Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder without Williamson because of a hamstring injury that limited him for four months.

Williamson said the hamstring isn’t an issue as of Tuesday, but the Pelicans are reportedly not expecting him to play in the postseason.

“I’m feeling great,” Williamson said Tuesday after practice. “It’s been frustrating. It’s been very frustrating. Not being able to play sucks.”

Williamson last played Jan. 2 and also missed the entire 2021-22 season recovering from a foot injury. He played 24 games in 2019-20 and 61 games in 2020-21.

He begins a supermax contract extension worth $193 million starting next season.

The Pelicans gave an update March 8 stating Williamson’s right hamstring was improving based on MRI exam results. One month later, Williamson isn’t an active participant in full-court activities.

“Physically I’m fine. Now it’s just a matter of … when I feel like Zion,” he said Tuesday. “I can pretty much do everything. It’s just a matter of the level I was playing at before my hamstring. I’m just a competitor. I don’t want to go out there and be in my own head and affect the team. I know myself. If I was to go out there I would be in my head a lot. I would hesitate on certain moves.”


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By cb2gp