The Frustration of Being Sidelined: Zion Williamson’s Emotional Interview on His Injury

‘This s*** sucks, I don’t know how else to say it’: Frustrated Williamson laments hamstring injury that’s kept him out since January as Pelicans star says he’ll return ‘when I feel like Zion’

All-Star forward Zion Williamson recently expressed his pain at dealing with the mental hurdles of returning from his latest injury as the New Orleans Pelicans prepare for the postseason.

‘It’s been frustrating,’ Williamson said. ‘Not going to lie to you. It’s been very frustrating. Not being able to play sucks. But I mean, things have gotten better. Things have gotten a lot better.

‘I mean, this s*** sucks. I don’t know how else to say it. It just sucks. I love this game. I say it over and over.

‘For those people that think that I just want to sit on the sideline just to sit over there, I don’t know why people think that, but nah, it sucks. I want to be playing basketball for real.

‘Physically I’m fine, now it’s just a matter of when I feel like Zion.

New Orleans Pelicans' Zion Williamson expressed his frustration at status of hamstring injury
Williamson has been sitting out with a strained right hamstring he suffered in early January

‘I know the atmosphere I’d be entering based off like the playoff experience. So now it’s just a matter of when I feel like Zion.’

Williamson has been out since January 2 after suffering a right hamstring strain. Before being hurt he was averaging 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, on 60.8 percent shooting from the field and was named an All-Star starter despite the injury.

He had been on track to return long before the postseason but suffered a setback while rehabbing that severely delayed his eventual comeback.

‘It’s a little bit of a mental battle, because you know when I reaggravated [the injury] back in February, it was tough,’ Williamson said.

‘So when I go to make certain moves, there is that hesitation. Sometimes there’s not and sometimes there is.

‘And I understand the magnitude of these games coming up and I don’t want to be out there hesitating or doing something that may affect my team in a bad way.’

Williamson went on to call it a collective decision between himself and the team on when he would return, however The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Pelicans do not believe Williamson will be able to return at any time during the first round of the playoffs.

‘From what I’m told, there’s no expectations from the Pelicans that he will be on the floor at any point in the first round of the playoffs,’ Shams Charania said.

‘He’s not gonna play in the play-in tournament games this week. The hope is that maybe he begins to practice at some point in the first round or do more.’

Pelicans face Oklahoma in the play-in tournament Wednesday night.

Despite missing an extended period of time Williamson was still voted an All-Star starter

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