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December 13, 2021

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More injury woes for Williamson

Zion Williamson, the New Orleans Pelicans star whose National Basketball Association rise has been hampered by injury, has suffered another setback in his return from right foot surgery, the team said on Saturday.

The 21-year-old had surgery in July and had been aiming for a return to the court in December.

But now it’s not clear when he might be back on an NBA court as his training is reduced “for an extended period.”

“After experiencing persistent soreness in his right foot, Zion Williamson underwent medical imaging which showed a regression in the bone healing of his fifth metatarsal,” the Pelicans said in a statement.

“As a result, the volume and intensity of his training will be reduced for an extended period to help allow for further bone healing.

“Additional updates will be provided as warranted,” the team said.

Pelicans coach Willie Green said last week that as Williamson had begun more intense on-court activities he had felt some soreness in his foot.

The team had hoped that a brief return to low-impact work would solve the problem for the third-year pro, who missed almost half of his rookie season with a knee injury.

Green said last week that whatever happened, the team wouldn’t rush the young player. “We’re talking about somebody’s career,” Green said.

The Pelicans have struggled without him and are 8-20 heading into the road game against the San Antonio Spurs.

Since becoming the top overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft after one attention-grabbing college season at Duke, Williamson has played in just 85 games in his three-year career. He has missed 87 games.

Williamson has career averages of 25.7 points and 7.0 rebounds for New Orleans, with an All-Star selection in 2020-21. He played in just 24 games as a rookie due to a torn meniscus in his right knee.

Meanwhile on the court on Saturday, the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Golden State Warriors 102-93 in Pennsylvania, stifling Stephen Curry and stopping him from setting an NBA all-time record on their court.

Curry came into the contest needing 10 three-pointers to surpass Ray Allen’s all-time record of 2,973.

The Warriors’ shooting star has had 10 three-pointers or more in 22 career games, but in the face of a stringent Sixers’ defense he connected on just three of 14 from beyond the arc on the way to 18 points.

Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 26 points, Tobias Harris added 16 and Matisse Thybulle did the heavy lifting in guarding Curry.

“It was no secret that he was going for this record right now,” Thybulle said. “Joel and I talked today during shoot-around and he said we’re not letting that happen in our house.

“So I took it upon myself to make sure it didn’t.”

Overall Curry made just six of his 20 attempts from the field, although he still outscored his brother Seth Curry, who put up 10 points for Philadelphia.

The Warriors star, who now needs seven three-pointers to surpass Allen’s record, gets his next shot against the Pacers at Indianapolis tomorrow.

The Warriors then continue their road trip against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr, whose Warriors lost for just the fifth time this season and fell a half-game behind the Phoenix Suns for the Western Conference lead, said the key for Curry’s record chase would be “just to let it happen.”

“The record’s going to happen at some point soon,” Kerr said. “No reason to force anything.”


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