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Pelicans' Zion Williamson to be ready for regular season after foot surgery

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (R), shown Dec. 25, 2020, averaged 27 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last season. File Photo by Rhonda Wise/EPA-EFE
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (R), shown Dec. 25, 2020, averaged 27 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last season. File Photo by Rhonda Wise/EPA-EFE

Sept. 27 (UPI) -- New Orleans Pelicans star forward Zion Williamson sustained a broken right foot during the off-season but should be able to return in time for the start of the regular season.

Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin told reporters Monday that Williamson injured the foot before the NBA Summer League began. Shortly later, he underwent surgery to repair a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

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"He had a fractured right foot that was repaired surgically," Griffin said. "His timeline should get him back on the court in time for the regular season. That would be our hope and our view. And we're very optimistic about what that looks like."

Griffin said the team met with Williamson and his parents to determine a timeline for his return. Griffin also noted that he didn't think it was "terribly likely" that Williamson would play during the preseason.

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"He was working out on his own on the court, and frankly was doing an unbelievable job," Griffin said. "It's crazy sometimes what happens when you look your best. But he was doing that prior to Summer League and suffered the injury on the court while playing.

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"... We feel very confident about where things are and very confident about the improvement there."

Williamson was limited to just 24 games during his rookie season in 2019-20 because of a knee injury that sidelined him for more than three months. His 2020-21 season also ended early due to a thumb injury.

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Despite those injury woes, Williamson has averaged 25.7 points, seven rebounds and 3.2 assists over 85 career games in New Orleans.

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