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Zion Williamson injury: Pelicans star is expected to miss the first few weeks of the season, the report says

The NBA planned the New Orleans Pelicans on opening night with the idea that Zion Williamson would make his debut against the NBA champions. That plan came off the rails on Friday.

Williamson is excluded from his team's last preseason game on Thursday, but no indication was given of the severity of his right knee injury. On Friday Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported both good and bad news. The good ones? Williamson's knee injury is not believed to be serious. The bad? Williamson is now expected to miss the first few weeks of the regular season.

The exact nature of the injury remains unknown, but the loss of Williamson is a crucial thing for New Orleans. He had been sensational for the season and may have already established himself as their best player. Furthermore, fans in and out of New Orleans couldn't wait to see him play. The Pelicans sold a lot more season ticket packages with him than they ever did with Anthony Davis, and his presence would have been huge for TV ratings. Now the world has to wait for its official debut.

Williamson's skill set was never questioned because he became the unanimous top prospect in the NBA Draft 201

9. If he had a weakness, it was his durability. Williamson has not suffered any serious injuries, but his unique body type indicated he would endure more wear and tear than most players. At his 285 pound weight last season, he would have been the second-heaviest player in the NBA despite standing only 6-foot-7.

Given his explosive jumping ability, it seemed of great importance that he eventually affected his knees. This injury will surely give critics a chance to demand that Williamson lose weight, though his strength and size are part of what makes him so special. At this point in his career it is too early to say whether his body type is sustainable with his playing style or not. If he returns after this injury and plays a full and healthy season, worries will stop. But if this flares up, these issues will grow again.

With Williamson at the forefront, the Pelicans were expected to push for an playoff in the incredibly deep Western Conference. His absence will surely cost them some games, and potentially a place in the top eight. New Orleans will need him back as soon as possible if they hope to make the field, but his long-term health is a priority. Don't be surprised if his timeline extends beyond a few weeks. New Orleans wants to win championships. To sacrifice a few wins this season in pursuit of that goal is a more than acceptable compromise. Williamson will not return until he is 100 percent healthy.

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