Zion Williamson to miss six to eight weeks after having surgery for torn meniscus

New Orleans Pelicans' Zion Williamson in an Oct. 11 preseason game against the Utah Jazz
New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson shoots a free throw during a preseason game against the Utah Jazz on Oct. 11.
(Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Zion Williamson, one of the NBA’s top attractions heading into the 2019-20 season, will have his professional debut put on hold for the next six to eight weeks — rough news for the league just one day before the season gets started.

Williamson underwent surgery Monday to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, the New Orleans Pelicans announced, sidelining the No. 1 overall pick until after Thanksgiving.

After entering the NBA with LeBron James level of attention, Williamson had a spectacular preseason for the Pelicans, averaging more than 26 points and six rebounds while shooting 71% from the field in his first four games as a professional.


His immediate dominance had New Orleans quietly confident about earning a playoff spot only a few months removed from trading star Anthony Davis to the Lakers.

Anthony Davis’ path to stardom began at a small school in Chicago that didn’t make stars. He calls it ‘surreal’ and says he never takes it for granted.

Oct. 21, 2019

But the injury hurts those chances while also stoking existing fears about Williamson -- that his size (6 feet 7 and 285 pounds) and the force with which he plays could add up to more injuries.

New Orleans opens the season Tuesday at Toronto.