It appears as though Zion Williamson is getting closer and closer to making his return.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the No. 1 overall pick is expected to practice with the New Orleans Pelicans in the new year, setting the stage for him to possibly make his NBA debut at some point in January.
"Williamson is expected to return to his first practice shortly after the new year on Wednesday," Charania reports. "I'm told both sides are hopeful of a January season debut for Williamson."
"I'm told both sides are hopeful of a January season debut for (Zion) Williamson."- Stadium (@Stadium) December 31, 2019
As the calendar shifts to 2020, NBA Insider @ShamsCharania shares the latest on the Pelicans No. 1 pick. pic.twitter.com/uEMBtBocIw
The Pelicans announced on Oct. 21 that Williamson underwent arthroscopic surgery to address a torn right lateral meniscus. The original timetable for his return was estimated to be six-to-eight weeks.
There is still no official date for his return.
"The Pelicans have been cautious with Williamson this entire time, ever since he suffered the torn meniscus in his knee in October and underwent surgery that sidelined him indefinitely," Charania continued.
Prior to his injury, Williamson appeared in four preseason games with the Pelicans. In 27.2 minutes per contest, he averaged 23.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.5 steals, putting his superstar potential on full display.
MORE: What we learned from Zion's preseason
The Pelicans have struggled without Williamson so far this season. At 11-23, they have the second-worst record in the Western Conference entering the new year. New Orleans has been better lately, though, having won four straight games.