New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson will be sidelined for the next three weeks, at least, with a right hamstring strain, the team announced on Tuesday. Williamson sustained the injury during Monday’s 120-111 loss to the 76ers in Philadelphia. He exited late in the third quarter of the contest and didn’t return to action.
The loss is obviously a tough one for the Pelicans, and NBA fans in general, as Williamson has been playing some stellar basketball so far this season. He’s averaging 26 points, seven rebounds and and 4.6 assists per game with his highlight-friendly style of play. Durability has been a major concern for Williamson throughout his career, but this season he had largely been able to stay healthy. He has missed only eight of the team’s 37 games has thus far, though that number is about to rise.
Williamson will join forward Brandon Ingram on the sideline in New Orleans. Ingram hasn’t played in a game since late November due to a toe injury, and it’s not known at this point when he will return to game action. The Pelicans will now be tasked with keeping pace in a competitive Western Conference without those two guys. The Pelicans are currently 23-14 on the season and only a game out of the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
New Orleans will likely be cautious with Williamson as he recovers from this injury given his overall importance to the franchise. His long-term health is more important than some regular season games in January.