New Orleans Pelicans No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson could soon make his NBA debut as the rookie participated in a full practice on Thursday for the first time since undergoing knee surgery, head coach Alvin Gentry told reporters.
"If it was up to me, I would have been out there two weeks ago," Williamson said.
Williamson underwent surgery on Oct. 21 to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and was expected to miss six to eight weeks. He injured the knee during a preseason game against the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 13.
The torn meniscus marked the second knee ailment for Williamson in 2019. In February, he was forced to exit Duke's rivalry game against North Carolina after blowing out his shoe and suffering a mild knee sprain. He missed three weeks due to the injury but returned to help the Blue Devils win the ACC Tournament and reach the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.
The Pelicans are 11–23 on the season. Williamson is not with the team on the current West Coast trip, which includes a Friday night game against the Lakers in Los Angeles and a Saturday night meeting with the Sacramento Kings. The team returns home to play the Utah Jazz on Monday.