Zion Williamson shoots a free throw

David Griffin: Zion Williamson ‘progressing very well, feels good about his process’

by Jim Eichenhofer

Pelicans Executive VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin joined Fox Sports New Orleans’ broadcast of Thursday’s game vs. Phoenix, updating Joel Meyers and Antonio Daniels on Zion Williamson’s status, as the No. 1 overall pick continues his progression toward playing this season, following October knee surgery.

Griffin noted that it is still possible for Williamson to meet the initial 6-8 week timetable, with the six-week mark having just passed. Eight weeks on that timetable would put his return in mid-December.

“From the very beginning, (the timetable) was put at a six-to-eight week recovery,” Griffin said. “He continues to progress. He’s progressing very well. He feels very good about his process. Eight weeks is several days from now.”

As he works to get back on the court, the 19-year-old forward must meet specific markers that will determine when he is cleared to play by New Orleans’ medical staff. Griffin emphasized that process will be what decides Williamson’s readiness to make his NBA regular season debut.

“If we get outside of (eight weeks on Williamson’s timetable), it will be because he hasn’t met the metrics for return to play, that are laid out for him and every player on our team,” Griffin said. “We have been much more cautious in how we’ve ramped him up from stage to stage, because he’s 19 and he’s still growing, and he was 285 pounds when he had the surgery.

“There has been absolutely no setback and no other mission afoot other than to get him back onto the court as soon as possible.”

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