Zion Williamson cleared for full basketball activities 3 months after foot fracture

Zion Williamson can play basketball again, though it remains to be seen when he'll actually start suiting up for the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pelicans announced Friday that Williamson has been cleared to participate in full team activities after undergoing imaging on his fractured right foot. Williamson will reportedly play a 4-on-4 full-court game later Friday, though the team says an estimated return to game action has not been determined.

Williamson has been out since fracturing his foot in early August, an injury that required surgery. The Pelicans have struggled heavily without him, going 4-16 in the first 20 games of the season.

Zion Williamson's recovery has been slow

Pelicans vice president of basketball operations David Griffin initially said the hope was Williamson could return in time for the regular season opener, but that hope has passed. Details about Williamson's timetable have remained hazy, even amid concerns (and jokes) about his weight and mobility. He was cleared for contact drills earlier this month.

None of this has been particularly encouraging for a player whose long-term outlook has been hindered by health concerns dating back to his amateur days.

Williamson is undeniably brilliant when he's on the court, a highlight machine who has averaged 25.7 points, 7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 60.4 percent from the field through his first two NBA seasons. However, he has now missed the beginning of the season in two out of three years since entering the league, and still has yet to play more than 62 games in a season.

As Yahoo Sports' Ben Rohrbach notes, no player in NBA history has been as short as the 6-foot-6 Williamson while being as heavy as him (280 pounds). His otherworldly athleticism and jumping ability has allowed him to thrive as a wrecking ball in the paint, but concerns about his physique are going to get only louder if he can't stay on the court from here on out.