Zion to miss Pelicans' season opener, maybe more

Don Ames
October 18, 2019 - 1:37 pm

Derick E. Hingle - USA TODAY Sports


The NBA's newest star will miss his team's season opener and at least the first game of his rookie year with a knee injury.

According to a Pelicans' spokesperson, Zion Williamson, the team's No. 1 draft pick is expected to miss “a period of weeks” due to the injury originally incurred during an Oct. 13 preseason game.

The injury, however, is not considered to be severe, according to league sources and first reported by ESPN. 

It's still unclear exactly how much time Williamson is expected to miss.

Zion did not travel with the team to New York for Friday night's game against the New York Knicks and will remain in New Orleans for further medical evaluation and testing.

For now, though, it means the Pelicans will start the 2019-20 campaign without its starting forward, marquee name and lead attraction. New Orleans opens the NBA regular season in a TNT showcase against Toronto on Tuesday night, three nights before ESPN broadcasts the home opener against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday in the Smoothie King Center.

Both of those will now be less glitzy affairs. 

This is Williamson's second knee injury since arriving in New Orleans this summer, but the two incidents are unrelated.

The rookie missed all but nine minutes of summer league after bumping knees during his Las Vegas debut, but went on to make a full recovery and was fully available for offseason workouts, training camp and the first four preseason games.

The Pelicans are 4-0 in the preseason with multiple close wins that showed off their depth and fast play style. 

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