NBA play-in

Zion Williamson says he’ll return when he ‘feels like Zion’


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Zion Williamson says he’ll return when he ‘feels like Zion’

SIDELINED. Pelicans forward Zion Williamson talks with guard Jose Alvarado (left) and assistant coach Fred Vinson.

Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

‘It's been very frustrating,’ says Zion Williamson, the Pelicans star sidelined for over three months and will likely not see action in the postseason

Zion Williamson said injuries are not holding him back, but he will only be ready to play in the postseason “when I feel like Zion.”

The Pelicans are in the play-in tournament Wednesday, April 12 (Thursday, April 13, Manila time), against the Oklahoma City Thunder without Williamson because of a hamstring injury that limited him for four months.

Williamson said the hamstring isn’t an issue as of Tuesday, but the Pelicans are reportedly not expecting him to play in the postseason.

“I’m feeling great,” Williamson said Tuesday after practice. “It’s been frustrating. It’s been very frustrating. Not being able to play sucks.”

Williamson last played January 2 and also missed the entire 2021-2022 season recovering from a foot injury. He played 24 games in 2019-2020 and 61 games in 2020-21.

He begins a supermax contract extension worth $193 million starting next season.

The Pelicans gave an update March 8 stating Williamson’s right hamstring was improving based on MRI exam results. One month later, Williamson isn’t an active participant in full-court activities.

“Physically I’m fine. Now it’s just a matter of… when I feel like Zion,” he said Tuesday. “I can pretty much do everything. It’s just a matter of the level I was playing at before my hamstring. I’m just a competitor. I don’t want to go out there and be in my own head and affect the team. I know myself. If I was to go out there I would be in my head a lot. I would hesitate on certain moves.” –

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