The team announced Williamson had returned on Friday, noting that he had undergone daily coronavirus tests while away from Orlando and tested negative for all of them. Williamson will now go through the mandatory four-day quarantine for excused absences.
Zion Williamson returned to the NBA campus in Orlando this evening, the team announced.— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) July 24, 2020
He was tested daily for COVID-19 while away from the team and produced negative results for all of them. Williamson is required to quarantine immediately, per NBA protocol. pic.twitter.com/5Olbwo1YvV
Williamson exited the bubble last week to tend to an urgent medical matter in his family, with the Pelicans’ blessing.
With the Pelicans set to begin their season again on July 30 against the Utah Jazz, Williamson had been running out of days in which he could have returned in time to be available for a game. It’s still unclear if he’ll be available for the opener as he will be just two days out of the bubble by the time of the game.
Williamson said he was thankful for the love and respect for his family upon returning, and said he was eager to rejoin his team.
Zion Williamson upon returning to bubble: “My family and I appreciate the love, respect that everyone showed us while we dealt with a private family matter. I‘m excited to rejoin my team in Orlando and look forward to getting back on the court with my teammates after quarantine.”— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 24, 2020
While the Rookie of the Year race has already concluded, Williamson and the Pelicans will have plenty of work to do when play restarts. The team currently sits 3.5 games back from the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies for a playoff spot, and has plenty of Western Conference teams to outpace if it wants to land a spot in the play-in series for ninth-place teams.
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