Sports

Zion has sprained thumb, questionable vs. Magic

New Orleans Pelicans‘ forward Zion Williamson is listed as questionable for Thursday night’s game against the Orlando Magic with a sprained right thumb.

Sources say Williamson avoided missing an extended period of time, however, the standard timeframe for a sprained thumb could have a player out for weeks.

Williamson was injured in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics on Monday when he went to brace himself on the ground.

If Williamson is unable to play on Thursday, it will be the third game he’s missed this season. Williamson missed one game in January because of an inconclusive COVID-19 test and another game because of a toe injury in the game before the All-Star break.

The timing of the injury comes as the Pelicans were leaning heavily into playing Williamson as the primary ball handler. Since Jan. 27, the Pelicans have the top offensive rating in the NBA at 119.6.

New Orleans has also won four of their last five games and six of their last nine as they try to make a push for the Western Conference playoffs.

The Pelicans, currently 12th in the Western standings, are three games back of the eighth seed and almost two games back of the final spot in the play-in tournament.

In 44 games, Williamson is averaging 26.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game while shooting 62.4% from the field and 70.8% from the line.

Along with Williamson, Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball is also listed as questionable for Thursday’s game. Ball has missed the last five games with a right hip flexor strain. Ball said on Wednesday that he only participated in a portion of practice.

“Obviously, I want to be out there but a hip flexor (injury), I don’t wanna play with that,” Ball said. “I want to wait until I’m comfortable to get on the court and moving [fluidly]. After that, I’m ready to go and I’ll get out there and do what I’m supposed to do.”

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