The Pelicans have been a decidedly different team with and without forward Zion Williamson on the court this season.
Entering its Jan. 2 game against the 76ers, New Orleans was 23–13 and squarely in the race for home-court advantage in the Western Conference. Since that game—during which Williamson injured his hamstring—the Pelicans have gone 12–24.
With New Orleans jockeying for play-in position, the Pelicans announced Wednesday afternoon that Williamson “has been cleared to return to on-court activities. He will be reevaluated in two weeks.”
Asked about the update and whether New Orleans expected Williamson back before the end of the season, Pelicans coach Willie Green replied, "We'll see."
New Orleans is currently in 12th place in the Western Conference, tied with the 11th-place Lakers and a half-game behind the 10th-place Jazz.
As ESPN's Andrew Lopez noted in a tweet, the Pelicans have just three regular-season games left beyond the reevaluation timeframe, against the Grizzlies, Knicks and Timberwolves.
Williamson has averaged 26 points, seven rebounds and 4.6 assists per game in 29 games this season.