Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans have had one of the strangest seasons I can remember.
Even though Zion hasn’t played at all, there has been endless speculation about his injury, fitness and even his commitment to New Orleans in a way I’ve never seen with another injured player.
Do you remember this kind of coverage of Kevin Durant when he missed almost an entire season with a similar injury? Me either.
Without him, the Pelicans have managed to come together as a team under new coach Willie Green and forward Brandon Ingram, who has made a leap as an all-around player and leader.
It’s been an up-and-down season of inconsistency that has been derailed by untimely injuries, boosted by unlikely play from a second-round pick and a big mid-season trade, started 1-12 but could still end in the playoffs. It’s been a wild ride.
With just 10 games left, the Pelicans are without both of their stars, but have managed to stay in the play-in position behind strong play from Jonas Valanciunas, CJ McCollum and rookie Herbert Jones.
As they enter the most important home stand of the season, there is now hope that the Pelicans could get both of their stars back for the home stretch.
Pelicans schedule and waiting for a Brandon Ingram injury update
The Pelicans start their home stand Thursday against the Bulls and it is still unclear if Brandon Ingram will be available.
There hasn’t been an update on his injury since he went out even though he was supposed to have been re-evaluated last week.
The Pelicans have managed to win a few games without him, but Ingram’s health will likely determine whether they stay in the 10-spot, fall or climb higher.
Silence probably isn’t a great sign here, so let’s hope this hamstring injury isn’t worse than originally expected.
After the Bulls, the Pels have the Spurs, who are just behind them in the standings, and then a huge matchup with the Lakers on Sunday that could ultimately determine who gets the 9th seed and whether the Pelicans keep their draft pick, so there will be a lot on the line.
If Ingram can’t get back for the Bulls, we have to hope he’ll be there for the Spurs and Lakers, as those will be the two biggest games of the season.
Zion Williamson injury “update”
There has been no official update on Zion Williamson’s injury from the team, but Zion sent an update of his own in the form of a shirtless, between-the-legs dunk video where he not only looked to be in shape, but getting close to ready to play.
We thought the Zion question might have been answered when it was reported by Shams Charania that he was not likely to return this season.
I don’t want to get my hopes up, but this video definitely seems like a response from Zion, who has been mostly quiet in the media and may prefer to do his talking via the dunk.
It’s all just speculation until we see this team at full strength, but Brandon Ingram’s return is on the horizon and Zion Williamson may be sending signs that he’s not far behind.
Stay tuned, Pelicans’ fans, this saga isn’t over just yet.