NBA fans have been clamoring over the chance to see Zion Williamson take the court for his first regular season game, with the Pelicans set to tip off their campaign Tuesday night against the Raptors.
Regrettably, internet rumors about his delayed debut appear to be true, and it looks like it'll be quite some time until we get to see the No. 1 pick in game action, as the Pelicans have announced that Williamson underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
The recovery time is expected to be anywhere from six-to-eight weeks for Williamson, meaning he won't be back on the floor until mid-December at the earliest.
Obviously this is a huge loss for the Pels, especially given how dominant the power forward was in the preseason. Across four preseason games, Williamson posted averages of 23.3 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting at a 71.4% clip from the field.
Pelicans Depth Chart
With Williamson sidelined, it's possible that players such as Kenrich Williams, Jahlil Okafor and rookie Jaxson Hayes slide into larger roles to start the season. Brandon Ingram also figures to see more run at the power forward position.
Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday, and Derrick Favors are still expected to start for New Orleans.
Regardless of role changes, expectations for New Orleans now firmly reside in the gutter.
Safe to say, this is a blow to all NBA fans in all settings. The most electric rookie to enter the league in ages won't be appearing for months, potentially not at full strength.