Pelicans' Zion Williamson cleared for full team activities, but return still uncertain

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson has been cleared to participate in full team activities, the club announced Friday, but there remains no specific timetable on when the 2019 top overall draft pick will play.

The upgrade in Williamson’s status came after he underwent imaging Wednesday on his right foot, which he fractured during an offseason workout. Dr. Richard Ferkel of Southern California Orthopedic Institute and Dr. Scott Montgomery of Ochsner Health subsequently studied Williamson’s scans before he was cleared for expanded work in practice.

Williamson participated in four-on-four, full-court work Friday.

He will “continue his progression towards returning to play,” a written statement provided by the Pelicans said. “An estimated date to return to game action has not been determined.”

The Pelicans have lost 16 of their first 20 games without Williamson, an All-Star last season who led New Orleans with 27 points per game. New Orleans played at Utah on Friday night in the first of three road games in four days.

When the team initially disclosed Williamson’s injury at the start of training camp, both Williamson and basketball operations chief David Griffin said the goal was for Williamson to be ready to play in the Oct. 20 regular-season opener.

But that timeline was scrapped as the preseason wound down and it became apparent that Williamson’s rehabilitation would be far more protracted than initially hoped.

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