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Pelicans' Zion Williamson cleared to return after inconclusive COVID-19 test

Pelicans' Zion Williamson cleared to return after inconclusive COVID-19 test
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (R) has averaged 21.9 points and 8.1 rebounds in nine games this season. File Photo by Rhonda Wise/EPA-EFE

Jan. 14 (UPI) -- New Orleans Pelicans star forward Zion Williamson was cleared to return to team activities, the franchise announced Thursday.

Williamson missed Wednesday night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers because of inconclusive COVID-19 test results. The former Duke star underwent an additional test, but the results of the subsequent test weren't going to come back until after the game against the Clippers.

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The Pelicans received the results from the second test Thursday, meaning Williamson will be allowed to play in Friday night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Without Williamson, the Pelicans lost 111-106 to the Clippers. Wednesday's game was the first he had missed this season.

Williamson, who played only 24 games last season, has averaged 21.9 points and 8.1 rebounds in nine games this season.

The Pelicans could still be without two key starters Friday against the Lakers. Lonzo Ball (bilateral knee tendinopathy) and Eric Bledsoe (right eye irritation) also missed the game against the Clippers. Ball has been ruled out for Friday, while Bledsoe is listed as questionable.

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