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Pelicans’ Williamson to be sidelined beyond All-Star break

New Orleans Pelicans star big man Zion Williamson will be sidelined beyond the NBA All-Star break after a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury, the team said Sunday.

Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin said Williamson has re-aggravated the right hamstring injury he suffered in a game at Philadelphia on 2 January.

“I think we’re looking at multiple weeks past All-Star break,” Griffin said on a timeline for Williamson’s return. “What that looks like in terms of timeline I can’t really tell you.”

Williamson was already slated to miss next Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City, even though the 22-year-old standout was named to his first All-Star starting spot.

The top overall pick in the 2019 draft, Williamson is averaging 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game in 29 contests for New Orleans.

The Pelicans are currently seventh in the Western Conference, one spot outside the automatic playoff berths.

It’s just the latest injury disappointment for Williamson, who missed the entire 2021-22 season with a broken right foot.

Griffin, asked how the player was handling the setback emotionally, said it was “fair to say not terribly well, because he was really diligent in his rehab and in the process.

“Unfortunately, this is an injury that has a very high incidence of recurrence,” Griffin said. “It’s nothing he did wrong to bring this about.”

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