Zion Williamson cleared for contact drills as he inches closer to return from fractured foot

New Orleans Pelicans big man Zion Williamson isn't ready to play yet, but he's getting closer. Williamson was cleared for contact drills Tuesday and will start participating in 1-on-1 workouts.

The Pelicans said Williamson was medically cleared to participate in drills after getting imaging done Nov. 11. Williamson will have repeat imaging Nov. 24 to determine if he can take part in full team workouts. Once that final hurdle is cleared, Williamson should be close to returning.

Williamson, 21, has not played a game for the Pelicans this season after fracturing his right foot during offseason workouts. The team initially believed Williamson would be ready to play by opening night, but the injury took longer to heal.

Williamson has experienced a number of injuries over his career. He missed time at Duke with a knee sprain, sustained a torn meniscus during his rookie season and missed a handful of games last year with a broken finger.

The Pelicans are off to a miserable start without Williamson. The team is 2-13, the second-worst record in the NBA.

Williamson averaged 27 points and 7.2 rebounds with the team last season. That performance was good enough to net Williamson his first All-Star appearance.

Zion Williamson cleared for contact.
Zion Williamson was cleared to take part in contact drills. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)