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Pelicans expect Zion back Wednesday

The New Orleans Pelicans expect star rookie forward Zion Williamson to be back at practice by the middle of this week, ESPN reported Monday.

According to Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin, Wednesday is the target day for Williamson to return to the court.

“In theory, his quarantine would end Tuesday afternoon-ish,” Griffin said Monday. “The problem is he has to test and get the results before they release him.”

Williamson left the NBA bubble near Orlando earlier this month to tend to an urgent family medical matter. He returned to the bubble on Friday and, per NBA guidelines, can rejoin his teammates after four days should he continuously test negative during his quarantine.

In 19 starts before the shutdown, Williamson averaged 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds. He is the reigning No. 1 overall pick out of Duke.

“My family and I appreciate the love and respect that everyone showed us while we dealt with a private family matter,” Williamson said in a statement upon returning to the bubble. “I’m excited to rejoin my team in Orlando and look forward to getting back on the court with my teammates after quarantine.”

At 28-36, New Orleans sits in 10th place in the Western Conference, 3 1/2 games behind the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies.

The Pelicans are scheduled to play the Utah Jazz on Thursday, the first game of the resumption of the NBA season. The club has yet to decide if Williamson will play in that game.

“Literally any player on our roster who went 13 days without doing any physical activity, it isn’t going to be a given that we would just cut them loose in that next game,” Griffin said. “Particularly a player that generates as much torque as he does. So we will see where he’s at.”

–Field Level Media

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