New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson has been cleared to participate in contact drills, the team announced, the last step toward his eventual return to the court.
Williamson, who is in his third year, has missed every game this season due to a broken right foot he sustained in the summer. There was an initial hope that it would be available for the start of the season, but that did not happen.
The Pelicans also said Williamson will undergo more medical imaging on Nov. 24, which will determine if he will be available to be cleared for full team workouts.
Williamson will start with one-on-one workouts and progress from there. The team said it underwent the most recent round of imaging on Nov.11 and was cleared by Southern California-based Dr. Richard Ferkel, who previously performed surgeries on Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and the Dr. Scott Montgomery, who serves as an orthopedic surgeon for the Pelicans.
Without Williamson in the lineup, the Pelicans have struggled to start at 2-13, including a loss to Washington on Monday night.
Williamson has been limited to 85 games in his recent NBA career after he played in all 24 games during his rookie season due to a torn right meniscus.