The Zion Williamson saga has been a strange one this season.
The New Orleans Pelicans star has not suited up in a game all year and updates on his progress have not provided any good news.
This all began when Williamson suffered a foot fracture in the offseason.
Yet it is now January and there is no indication he will be back soon.
In fact, the Pelicans just provided an update that should be considered concerning.
The Pelicans say Zion Williamson has been doing his rehab away from the team. He is still under supervision of the team.
Sources say the Pelicans arranged for transportation out of New Orleans for Williamson. Further updates on Zion's status are expected in the next few weeks.
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) January 5, 2022
So Williamson is not even in New Orleans?
It turns out his rehab is taking place out west in Portland, Oregon.
Pelicans forward Zion Williamson is continuing his right foot rehabilitation in Portland, Ore., sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/dy9iT0EwH4
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 5, 2022
Should Pelicans fans be concerned with this update?
No Clarity With Zion
It remains difficult to know how to feel about Williamson’s progress because the team is not offering too much insight.
Yet they could be in the dark as well because only Williamson himself can say how his foot is feeling.
He did release a statement Wednesday that expresses his frustration about the entire situation.
Here's the statement from Zion Williamson, released by the team, regarding his continued rehab in Portland.
This is the first time we've heard from the Pels star since Media Day. pic.twitter.com/DEzKMgbVRs
— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) January 5, 2022
This should shut down the rumors of Williamson wanting out of New Orleans, at least for now.
Even if he did want out, he would have to make a return to the court and prove he is capable of playing an entire season and doing so at a high level.
The former No. 1 overall pick only played 24 games as a rookie during the 2019-20 season.
He then played in 61 last season and made the All-Star Game while averaging 27 points a night.
So he has proven he can be a dominant player.
But 85 games are not a large enough sample size, especially with his current injury concerns.
Williamson is out in Portland while the Pelicans sit near the bottom of the Western Conference standings.
At this rate, it would be a shock for him to return at all if it would mean playing for one of the worst teams in the NBA for a month or so.