Derick E. Hingle - USA TODAY Sports

Pelicans rookie Williamson "getting stronger day by day"

LISTEN: Williamson speaks to media for first time since knee surgery

Mark Menard
November 08, 2019 - 7:58 am

For the first time since his arthroscopic knee surgery two weeks ago, Pelicans #1 overall draft pick Zion Williamson spoke to the media yesterday, and he said he can feel the improvements as he continues to work his way back to getting on the court.

"I do feel like I'm getting stronger day by day," Williamson said. "I can feel the difference each day."

Williamson said having to get his first surgery for an athletic injury and missing the start of his first NBA season was frustrating but that he's staying positive.

"It hurt at first," Williamson said. "But I'm not out forever, so my mindset is come back stronger. Come back better so I can help my team."

He also said his teammates have been extremely helpful in getting him through this initial adversity.

"Don't let this discourage me," Williamson said. "I'm not even missing half the season. So just keep getting better day by day, and they'll be ready for me."

Of course he has one very valuable resource to lean on. Teammate Jrue Holiday knows all about the frustrations of extended rehab and missing chunks of NBA seasons. He says he gave Williamson the most valuable advice he could think of.

"He's 19," Holiday said. "Be patient. I've been through injuries myself so I know how frustrating that can be. Maybe even sometimes feeling like you're on the outside because everybody's playing. And knowing him, he wants to be out there helping his teammates out. He feels like he can do a lot for us, which we also think he can. But not to have that pressure. We'll hold it down until he gets back."

The 1-6 Pelicans have had three days off to try and regroup after a very rough start to the season. We'll see the fruits of those labors tonight when they get back on the floor in the Smoothie King Center. They host the world champion Toronto Raptors at 7.


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