Zion Williamson’s professional debut was put on hold after the New Orleans Pelicans announced Monday he would miss six to eight weeks recovering from knee surgery.
The No. 1 overall pick tore his right lateral meniscus and missed the final preseason game against the New York Knicks after suffering a knee injury in a previous preseason game. ESPN reported that Williamson was going to be out for some time.
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The 19-year-old Duke standout was the most hyped NBA prospect heading into the season. However, a knee injury in the Summer League and then in the preseason has dampened the hopes that he would be able to make an impact as soon as possible.
Williamson’s 6-foot-6, 285-pound frame combined with his superb dunking abilities have some questioning whether he should lose weight. However, The Athletic reported that the Pelicans were not concerned about Williamson’s body and didn’t believe that the meniscus tear was a result of it.
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The Pelicans were set to start Williamson alongside Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday, Brandon Ingram and Derrick Favors. The team acquired Ball and Ingram in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers that sent Anthony Davis west.
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New Orleans begins its season Tuesday against the Toronto Raptors.