While there is no guarantee they’ll need the Play-In Tournament to make the postseason, odds are the New Orleans Pelicans‘ path to a postseason berth will involve needing to win a game to secure the 7 or 8-seed in the Western Conference. If that happens, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the team will not have the services of All-Star forward Zion Williamson.
The Pelicans announced on Thursday evening that, after an evaluation, the plan is for Williamson to “continue his rehabilitation and conditioning regimen” following a hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined since the beginning of January. One day later and Charania brought word that, due to their commitment to being cautious with his rehabbing of the injury, Williamson would not participate in the Play-In, although there is no word on whether or not the team would want to bring him back if the Pelicans made it to the playoffs.
Pelicans star Zion Williamson – sidelined since Jan. 2 with a hamstring strain – is unlikely to return to action in next week’s Play-In Tournament, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The team has been cautious with Williamson’s comeback as he continues rehab process.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 7, 2023
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Williamson has appeared in 29 games this season, with his last game coming on Jan. 2 against the Philadelphia 76ers. Entering Friday night’s slate of games, the Pelicans have a 41-39 record, which puts them in eighth place in the West with two games left to go. They’re one game behind the Los Angeles Clippers, which hold the fifth seed, and the Golden State Warriors, which are in sixth, and have the same record as the Los Angeles Lakers, which hold the tiebreaker between the two teams.
New Orleans will host the New York Knicks on Friday night before traveling to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves on Sunday in its final game of the regular season.