NEW YORK – NBA rookie star Zion Williamson is expected to miss a span of weeks at the start of the season with a sore right knee, according to multiple reports Friday.
The New Orleans Pelicans newcomer, the top pick in June’s NBA Draft, was already benched for the club’s final preseason contest Friday at New York, with ESPN and the New Orleans Times-Picayune saying more details will be known after the 19-year-old forward is examined over the next day or two.
The Pelicans play in the opening game of the new NBA season at defending champion Toronto on Tuesday, with Williamson’s NBA debut expected to be a star attraction.
Instead, it’s being put on hold after a smashing preseason run in which Williamson averaged 23.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists a game in four preseason appearances for New Orleans.
The reports say a major injury has been ruled out but the team wants to be cautious to ensure plenty of time for the teen star to recover.
Williamson did not travel with the Pelicans to New York, staying in New Orleans to undergo evaluations and tests on his right knee.