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Pelicans' Zion Williamson tweaks ankle, day-to-day for return

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson says he feels "fine" after he sustained an ankle injury Wednesday in Miami. Photo by Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson says he feels "fine" after he sustained an ankle injury Wednesday in Miami. Photo by Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE

Oct. 13 (UPI) -- New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson injured his ankle and is designated as day-to-day for a return, coach Willie Green told reporters.

Williamson sustained the left ankle injury during the Pelicans' 120-103 preseason loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday at FTX Arena in Miami. He left the game in the second quarter and did not return.

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"It looks like he rolled his ankle a little bit," Green said at his postgame news conference. "The doctor looked at him in the third quarter. He will be day-to-day."

Williamson scored 11 points and logged four assists and two rebounds in 11 minutes. He sustained the ankle injury when he drove to the basket 3:30 into the second quarter. Williamson planted the foot, but it bent inward and he landed awkwardly. He stayed in the game for several more minutes before exiting.

Williamson also said he felt "fine" when he spoke at his postgame news conference.

"In the moment, it didn't feel too good," Williamson said. "It was one of those things that happened and I popped back up. I played a few minutes after that and felt fine.

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"They sent me back to double check and take a look at it. The doctor said day-to-day, with soreness. I felt fine. It wasn't bad news from the doctor, so it's day-to-day."

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The No. 1 overall pick from the 2019 NBA Draft averaged 22.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game over 24 games in his rookie campaign, which was shortened due to a preseason knee injury.

Williamson averaged 27 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game over 61 appearances in 2020-21.

The 6-foot-6, 284-pound former Duke star then sustained an off-season foot injury and did not play in 2021-22. Green said Williamson will not miss extended time due to his latest injury.

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The Pelicans will host the Atlanta Hawks in their preseason finale at 8 p.m. EDT Friday in New Orleans. They will battle the Brooklyn Nets in their season opener at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Brooklyn.

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