Pelicans’ Williamson on track for Wednesday debut

Field Level Media

January 20, 2020 at 5:51 am.

Zion Williamson, the NBA’s No. 1 draft pick last June, took a step, at least on paper, toward his debut for the New Orleans Pelicans. And it bodes well for the ultimate step, still slated for Wednesday.

The Pelicans changed Williamson’s status on the injury report for Monday’s game at Memphis from “out” to “doubtful,” but that isn’t to cast doubt on announced plans for him to play Wednesday when the Pelicans host the San Antonio Spurs.

Teams typically change a player’s injury report status from “out” to “available” over the course of a few games as a player nears his return — or in the former Duke star’s case, his first NBA appearance.

Williamson is recovering from meniscus surgery on his right knee in mid-October. He initially was expected to miss six to eight weeks, though the team has been preaching an abundance of caution in getting him ready.

In his one season at Duke, Williamson averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds, and shot 68 percent from the floor in 33 games. In the preseason for the Pelicans, he averaged 23.3 points and shot 71.4 percent from the floor.

The Pelicans have won four of their last six games but are 16-27 and in 12th place in the Western Conference, 4 1/2 games behind the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies in the standings.