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Griffin: Pelicans predict Zion to debut on Jan. 22

New Orleans

METAIRIE, La. — Zion Williamson, the top choice in last summer’s NBA draft, is scheduled to make his regular season debut for the Pelicans on Jan. 22 when New Orleans hosts the the San Antonio Spurs, basketball operations chief David Griffin said.

“Everything’s moving in the right direction,” Griffin said. “I really believe very strongly he is a radically improved physical version of himself in way that frankly we took the extra time to ensure.”

The former Duke star has missed New Orleans’ first 41 games this season while rehabilitating from arthroscopic surgery to repair the lateral meniscus in his right knee.

New Orleans also hosts the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday and visit Memphis on Monday.

Griffin also indicated that Williamson’s minutes will be closely monitored and likely limited for the time being.

“From a sustaining health standpoint, we’re certainly going to treat him differently,” Griffin said.

The Pelicans have gone 15-26 without Williamson.

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