Zion Williamson receives injection to 'stimulate bone healing,' out 4-6 more weeks

Zion Williamson will be out even longer.

Williamson received an injection in his injured right foot "to stimulate bone healing" and will be out another four-to-six weeks, the New Orleans Pelicans said Thursday.

The third-year pro has not yet played this season after fracturing his foot in an offseason workout. He was initially expected back for the season opener, but rehab has been slow and setbacks aplenty.

Zion Williamson's new setback on injured foot

The Pelicans said over the weekend Williamson, 21, suffered a setback in rehab and would provide updates "as warranted."

On Thursday, it was warranted.

"Following a consultation and further evaluation with Dr. Richard Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute yesterday, Zion Williamson received a biologic injection into the fracture site to stimulate bone healing in his right foot," the team said in a statement.

"Williamson will be limited to low impact, partial weight-bearing activities for an extended period. Further updates will be given following further imaging which is anticipated to occur in 4-6 weeks."

A four-to-six-week period would be Jan. 13-27 for reevaluation. There is no guarantee that's the full recovery time.

The Pelicans (9-21) have the second-worst record in the Western Conference. If all goes to plan, Williamson could return before the trade deadline and All-Star weekend. But not much has gone to plan in the Zion saga of 2021.

Williamson foot injury timeline

Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson will miss 4-6 more weeks because of an injured foot. (Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Pelicans vice president of basketball operations David Griffin announced the injury on media day in late September. Williamson fractured it in early August and he underwent surgery. Griffin said he hoped they could have him back in time for the opener and the club was "very optimistic about what that looks like."

The former No. 1 pick, who was not in a boot, confirmed at media day that was his timeline, as well.

The Pelicans opened the regular season on Oct. 20 at home without Williamson. He was not medically cleared for contact drills until Nov. 17 as rehab took longer than anticipated. Two weeks later, right on schedule, he was cleared to join full team workouts.

Then six days after that, the Pelicans announced that Williamson was experiencing soreness in his surgically repaired foot and he would be held out of practice. The team described it as part of the process and did not consider it to be serious.

Nine days later, the team announced the setback, stating its star would be taking it easy "for an extended period." Now, he's clearly out at minimum four more weeks in an ongoing issue that was originally kept quiet because of how minor it was presumed to be.