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Pelicans' Zion Williamson has soreness in surgically repaired foot; return delayed

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (C), shown April 16, 2021, was scheduled to participate in his first full practice Thursday since having foot surgery. File Photo by Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (C), shown April 16, 2021, was scheduled to participate in his first full practice Thursday since having foot surgery. File Photo by Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE

Dec. 2 (UPI) -- New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson's return to the court has been delayed because of soreness in his surgically repaired foot, the team announced Thursday.

Williamson was scheduled to take part in his first full practice Thursday, but he was held out due to the soreness he had been dealing with over the past few days. Despite the small setback, the team doesn't believe it will be a major issue going forward.

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"It's a part of the process," Pelicans head coach Willie Green told reporters. "When you're dealing with injuries and you ramp up some, there's a possibility you can deal with a little bit of soreness, which he's dealing with now."

The most recent imaging of Williamson's foot on Nov. 24 showed no additional damage, so the Pelicans don't believe there has been an aggravation or new injury.

Williamson had ramped up to 4-on-4 full-court drills, but the team will now dial back his workload over the coming days. He will return to low-impact work in hopes that the soreness will go away.

"We're very optimistic in that sense," Green said. "Hopefully the soreness goes away in a few days and he can get back to work."

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The 21-year-old Williamson hasn't played in a game this season due to the fracture in his right foot. The Pelicans are off to a 6-18 start without the All-Star forward.

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