WASHINGTON - Zion Williamson was cleared to resume on-court activities by the NBA's New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday after a re-evaluation of his strained right hamstring, but he remains on the sidelines.
The Pelicans said that even though Williamson can get back to workouts and practice sessions with teammates, he will not be re-evaluated for a return to competition for another two weeks.
That means the injury-nagged 22-year-old power forward, picked first in the 2019 NBA Draft, might only return for the Pelicans' final three regular-season contests.
By then, it might be too late for the playoff run that once seemed so solid.
Williamson has not played since he suffered the injury on January 2, when New Orleans had a 23-14 record and was among the top contenders in the Western Conference.
The Pelicans are now level with the Los Angeles Lakers for 11th in the West at 35-37, half a game behind 10th-place Utah for the last play-in position, but only 1.5 games behind Golden State for sixth.
Williamson missed all of last season with a broken right foot and most of his rookie NBA campaign with a knee injury.
This season, Williamson has averaged 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists a game in 29 appearances for the Pelicans.