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New Orleans Pelicans' Zion Williamson to miss multiple weeks with knee injury

By Connor Grott
New Orleans Pelicans' Zion Williamson to miss multiple weeks with knee injury
New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson (C) missed the team's preseason finale against the New York Knicks on Friday because of knee soreness. File Photo by Jason Szenes/EPA-EFE

Oct. 18 (UPI) -- New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson is expected to miss multiple weeks to begin the regular season but avoided a major injury.

League sources told ESPN and Yahoo Sports on Friday that Williamson will undergo additional evaluations on his right knee over the next two days, but the team believes the star forward has avoided any long-term issues.

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Williamson didn't travel with the Pelicans to New York for Friday's preseason finale against the Knicks because of knee soreness, according to the team. He remained in New Orleans for further testing.

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry told reporters Friday that he believed Williamson sustained the knee injury during the team's preseason matchup against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

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"I think it's something that happened in the San Antonio game. That's when he did it," Gentry said. "Don't know a whole lot about it yet. ... Yeah, he's fine. He's not dead, guys."

Before Friday's contest against the Knicks, Williamson made appearances in all four of the Pelicans' preseason games this year, averaging 23.3 points and 6.5 rebounds in 27.3 minutes per game.

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During the summer league, Williamson played only eight minutes after he suffered a minor left knee bruise. The team was cautious with the former Duke Blue Devils star and shut him down as a precaution.

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Williamson, who didn't miss any time during training camp, also suffered a mild right knee sprain while playing for Duke. His Nike sneaker gave out seconds into a game against the North Carolina Tar Heels, causing him to miss six games.

The Pelicans open their regular-season schedule against the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors on Tuesday.

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