Rookie sensation Zion Williamson was cleared for practice Tuesday night after finishing his quarantine and testing negative for the coronavirus.
Williamson, who left the bubble for eight days for a family emergency, returned to Orlando Friday and tested negative for four straight days before the Pelicans allowed him to practice according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Pelicans F Zion Williamson has cleared quarantine and will return to practice with the team in Orlando this evening, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 28, 2020
Williamson will get two practice runs with the team before they decide whether he will play Thursday against Utah.
“Fortunately for us, he’s back here,” Pelicans’ head coach Alvin Gentry told NBA.com Monday. “We’re just happy to have him back. It’s a real private thing with his family, which is first and foremost on our mind. To make sure everything was fine there.”
Williamson was tested daily while he was away from the bubble, which shortened his quarantine.
Despite Williamson’s absence, the Pelicans racked up three wins.
3-0 feels pretty good
(we know they’re scrimmages don’t yell at us)#WontBowDown | @Zatarains pic.twitter.com/Rt2Hty74i3
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) July 28, 2020
Williamson was the number one pick in the draft last year and a favorite for NBA Rookie of the Year but an injury sidelined his debut until January.
The former Duke Blue Devil was averaging 23.6 points, and 6.8 rebounds before COVID-19 put a halt on season play.
New Orleans is one of six teams fighting for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.