METAIRIE, La. — The New Orleans Pelicans will not get forward Zion Williamson back prior to the All-Star break.
A team source confirmed Williamson will not be available for the Pelicans’ next three games — home against Cleveland on Friday, at Oklahoma City on Monday and at the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 15. The source also said Williamson would not be able to participate in the All-Star Game on Feb. 19 in Salt Lake City.
Williamson was voted in as a starter for the game despite having only played in 29 games this season.
Williamson hurt his hamstring on Jan. 2 against the Philadelphia 76ers late in the third quarter. He has not played since. In those 29 games this season, Williamson is averaging 26 points, seven rebounds and 4.6 assists per game while shooting 60.8% from the floor.
The Pelicans lost 13 of their next 16 games as soon as Williamson went out — a chunk of that without Brandon Ingram as well — before rebounding to win their last three games.
When Williamson has played this season, the Pelicans are 17-12 but without him, they are just 12-15. Ingram returned to action on Jan. 25 from a two-month absence from a left big toe contusion that held him out.
When asked if the team could see their opening night starting five in the next three games, Pelicans coach Willie Green on Wednesday said, “No, not before All-Star break. We’re probably not going to see our starting five, the starting five we opened the season with. No.”
Williamson, Ingram and guard CJ McCollum have played in just 10 games this season for a combined 172 minutes. When they’ve been on the court, the Pelicans have scored 120.4 points per 100 possessions and given up just 104.4 points per 100 possessions.
However, the team will have to wait a little longer to see them all together once again.
“It can be difficult at times,” Green said of not having his intended starting group together for a long stretch. “But that’s the nature of the NBA. We’re not the only team that has dealt with this. Shuffling lineups and making adjustments is a part of what makes it fun, what makes it unique. Other guys are getting opportunities to get that experience. I believe I’ll help us going down the stretch.”