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New Orleans Pelicans' Zion Williamson out 6-8 weeks after knee surgery

By
Connor Grott
New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair a torn meniscus. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair a torn meniscus. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 21 (UPI) -- New Orleans Pelicans rookie forward Zion Williamson will be sidelined for an extended amount of time after he underwent knee surgery.

The team announced Monday that Williamson had successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair a torn right lateral meniscus. Dr. Jason Folk, with the assistance of team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Misty Suri, performed the procedure.

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Williamson is expected to miss six to eight weeks following the operation, according to the Pelicans. He would miss about 20 games on the six-week timetable and seven or more contests with an eight-week absence.

The Pelicans originally announced the injury last week after Williamson didn't travel with the team to New York for New Orleans' preseason finale against the Knicks. His injury was described as "knee soreness."

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Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry told reporters Friday that he believed Williamson injured the knee on Oct. 13 against the San Antonio Spurs.

"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."

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In four preseason games this year, Williamson averaged 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.

Williamson, who didn't miss any time during training camp, also sustained 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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