New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson is making good progress in his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury, though he remains sidelined indefinitely. The team announced on Tuesday that Williamson will undergo new imaging next week and be re-evaluated at that point.
Williamson has not played since Jan. 2 due to a hamstring strain he suffered during the team's loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. The initial timeline indicated that Williamson would be sidelined for three weeks, but that always seemed a bit hopeful. He was well past that date when he then suffered a setback in early February which ruled him out of the All-Star Game, for which he had been voted a starter.
When he was on the floor to start the season, Williamson looked dominant. In 29 games, he averaged 26 points, seven rebounds and 4.6 assists, while shooting 60.8 percent from the field, and had the Pelicans flying high near the top of the Western Conference standings. At the start of the new year, they were 23-13, and just one game out of first place.
However, the team has collapsed since Williamson's injury. Including the game he got hurt, the Pelicans are 7-19, and have dropped all the way to 10th place. They had a 10-game losing streak during that stretch, and are currently on a four-game losing streak. Entering Tuesday night's slate of games, they are just percentage points ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers for the final play-in tournament spot. With Damian Lillard on a heater, and Williamson out for at least another week, the Pelicans may soon be on the outside looking in at the playoff picture.
If Williamson's hamstring issue and the tightening standings weren't enough bad news, the Pelicans also announced on Tuesday that Jose Alvarado will be out for at least three weeks due to a stress reaction in his right tibia, and Larry Nance Jr. will be out at least two weeks due to a sprained left ankle.
The good vibes from the Pelicans' hot start to the season are now completely gone.