Zion Williamson Injury Timeline & Update Ahead of NBA Debut Against Spurs

By David Hayes
Zion Williamson was the No. 1 overall selection by the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Zion Williamson was the No. 1 overall selection by the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2019 NBA Draft. / Elsa/Getty Images
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After being held out for the last 96 days since suffering a torn lateral meniscus just days before the start of the 2019-20 NBA regular season, the seemingly endless wait for Zion Williamson in New Orleans is finally over.

The New Orleans Pelicans' rookie star and 2019 NBA Draft No. 1 overall pick is expected to make his NBA debut in the starting lineup Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs at home in New Orleans at 9:30 p.m. EST. With Williamson's absence extending more than five weeks beyond expectations, here's a look at his full rookie year and injury timeline leading up to his NBA debut.

Zion Williamson Injury Timeline & Rookie History

1. June 20, 2019

Zion Williamson selected No. 1 overall in 2019 NBA Draft.

2. June 21, 2019

Williamson opens as a heavy favorite to win 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

3. Aug. 23, 2019

Williamson remains heavy ROY betting favorite after 2019 NBA Rookie Survey names him most likely to win the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year.

Zion Williamson Injury Date

4. Oct. 18, 2019

Williamson suffers an apparent knee injury following a preseason game against the New York Knicks.

5. Oct. 22, 2019

Williamson undergoes arthroscopic surgery on a torn (right) lateral meniscus, with an initial return estimated to be six-to-eight weeks.

6. Nov. 29, 2019 (5 Weeks Since Surgery)

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry says that, "... there is no return date etched in stone [for Williamson]."

7. Dec. 13, 2019 (7 Weeks Since Surgery)

Memphis Grizzlies PG Ja Morant surpasses Williamson as the new 2019-20 NBA ROY betting favorite.

8. Dec. 18, 2019 (8 Weeks Since Surgery)

Williamson progresses to full weight-bearing activities on his right knee, but Pelicans general manager David Griffin says that, "[Williamson is] a ways away" from making his return.

9. Jan. 2, 2020 (10 Weeks Since Surgery)

Williamson participates in his first full practice since his knee surgery on Oct. 22, 2019.

10. Jan. 7, 2020 (11 Weeks Since Surgery)

Williamson participates in his first 5-on-5 work with his teammates in practice.

Zion Williamson Return Date

11. Jan. 22, 2020 (13 Weeks Since Surgery)

Williamson prepares to make his NBA debut against the Spurs at home in New Orleans at 9:30 p.m. EST.


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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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