It’s time to change the default setting on Zion Williamson.
Rather than expecting the New Orleans Pelicans’ superstar to return and guessing dates on when he’s fully healed from a five-month-old foot surgery, it’s best to assume he’s out until he’s actually in uniform playing in a basketball game.
Because after three years of this, it’s made dupes of us all for expecting anything more.
It’s understandable to get fooled once. Maybe even twice.
But, by now?
There’s just no faith left in anything that’s said.
For those who still believed this season was salvageable and Williamson’s imminent return represented a fulcrum toward possible playoff contention, Thursday provided another dose of disillusionment.
No, Zion didn’t practice like he was expected to.
After months of scans and therapies, it was unforeseen soreness that sidelined Williamson from his much-anticipated return to full-contact basketball this time around. While team officials say nothing has changed from a structural or healing perspective in his endlessly discussed right foot, Williamson told the Pelicans he simply wasn’t ready to play yet.
“It’s a part of the process,” coach Willie Green said. “When you’re dealing with injuries and you ramp up some, there’s a possibility you can deal with a little bit of soreness, which he’s dealing with now.”
In fairness, we should have seen this coming. Why would anyone who has followed this saga closely believe there would be a linear, logical conclusion to it?