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Pelicans’ Zion Williamson is out for at least 2 weeks

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Zion Williamson will be sidelined for at least two more weeks while the New Orleans Pelicans monitor the all-star forward’s recovery from a right hamstring injury that occurred more than two months ago, the club announced on Tuesday known Wednesday evening.

Recent medical imaging “showed Williamson’s Achilles tendon continues to heal,” according to a statement released by the club. “His next exam is in about two weeks.”

After this next test, the Pelicans have 10 games left in the regular season.

New Orleans has been 8-20 since Williamson’s injury on Jan. 2 and entered a three-way tie for 10th place in the Western Conference on Wednesday night with a record of 31-34.

Now the Pelicans must play at least their next seven games without the 6-foot-6, 285-pound Williamson, who has averaged 26 points and seven rebounds in 29 games this season.

“My first thought is always Z. It’s been difficult to deal with the Achilles tendon and work on finding your way back and having the same problem again,” said Pelicans coach Willie Green, alluding to a setback Williamson briefly alluded to his recovery had all-star game.

For the rest of the guys, we know where we are. The guys need to step up,” Green said. “It’s time for us.”

Green said Williamson built strength, did pool workouts and shot properly on the court.

“So he’s making progress, but we have a lot in mind that last time he hit six weeks and he wasn’t ready for an offer,” Green added.

Williamson, who was drafted by Duke in 2019 as the overall champion, missed all of the 2021-22 season with a foot injury and most of his rookie season with a knee injury.

Since turning pro, he has played in 114 total games from 292 regular season games and none of New Orleans’ eight postseason games.

Last summer, Williamson signed a five-year rookie max extension with New Orleans, valued at between $193 million and $231 million, based on incentives.

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