Zion Williamson progress from foot injury to be evaluated in 2-2.5 weeks

New Orleans fans have circled Oct. 20 on their calendar, as their team’s regular season opener vs. Philadelphia. A to-be-determined date in late October is also now an important one for the Pelicans.

Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin announced Thursday after practice that All-Star forward Zion Williamson is making progress to return from his offseason foot fracture, with doctors evaluating imaging in “two to two and a half weeks,” which is sometime around Halloween.

“Zion underwent imaging (Wednesday) on his right foot,” Griffin said. “(Doctors) who reviewed those images were very encouraged by the healing evidence there. They are very optimistic he will recover from this, and they have cleared him to continue his progression. The next step for him now will be running and on-court individual work.”

Williamson was cleared Wednesday to do running and 1-on-0 individual work, which he began Thursday morning. In late October, his progression will be assessed to determine his status.

“Given the nature of bone healing, there is no fixed timeline for his return to game action, but the doctors are very encouraged by this last batch of images,” Griffin said. “As he continues along his return-to-play progression, doctors will be using additional imaging that will take place two to two and a half weeks from now, as guides and landmarks for taking the next steps. It’s everyone’s goal that Zion return to play as soon as is safely possible.”

Asked how far beyond the 2.5 weeks Williamson’s absence from games could extend, Griffin said, “Because of the bone-healing aspect (of a foot fracture), it’s hard (to project). Every player is different. Nothing has gone wrong and there is no setback (in Williamson’s recovery); it just takes a certain period of time.”