Arguably the most anticipated debut since LeBron James, New Orleans Pelicans Zion Williamson was sidelined before he could play even one NBA 2019-20 season game. Recently, NBA reports confirmed that Williamson would debut against the San Antonio Spurs on January 22, 2020 (January 23 IST). Williamson suffered torn right meniscus in October.
David Griffin revealed that the Pelicans took part in a teamwide heavy weightlifting routine for one week during this offseason. During that time, Williamson gained 8 pounds of muscle that left the staff shocked. According to Griffin, it was difficult finding status with Zion Williamson as he was not 'normal'. He is 19 years of age and is still growing which is why his treatment had to be about strength, flexibility and control instead of just numbers.
BREAKING: Zion Williamson plans on making his NBA Debut this Thursday, per @Mitch_Lawrence.— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) January 13, 2020
Before his debut against the Spurs was confirmed, there were rumours about Williamson debuting against Utah Jazz. The Pelicans had also shared a video on Williamson practising in Twitter and added the word 'soon' as a caption. According to NBA reports, Williamson was cleared for 5 on 5 practice with the players. He was also seen practising 3 on 3 with coaches and even 4 on 4 before. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on October 21, 2019. The estimated recovery period was around 6-8 weeks.
NBA reports also confirmed that Zion Williamson's meniscus injury has healed completely and the Pelicans want him on the court for some time before he finally made his debut with the team. In December 2019, Zion had been cleared for light shooting. However, a debut date was not given.
After the Pelicans used their top pick to select Zion Williamson, he was probably the most anticipated rookie for this season. Williamson averaged at 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals, and 1.8 blocks in 33 games for the Duke University in the NCAA. Williamson had dealt with some minor knee problems last year. During summer league, the rookie player only lasted for eight minutes. The team had withdrawn him as a precautionary measure to avoid further harm. After a knee sprain during a game, Zion Williamson also missed time for Duke. The sprain was caused due to his sneaker falling apart.