No timetable for Zion Williamson's return with 8 days until Pelicans' bubble debut

With eight days until they’re scheduled to tip off the NBA bubble against the Utah Jazz, the New Orleans Pelicans still don’t know when Zion Williamson will rejoin the team.

Williamson left the Disney World bubble on July 16 to deal with a family medical matter. On Wednesday, the Pelicans provided an update on his status. They still expect him to return. They just don’t know when.

“While there is no current timetable for his return to campus, he fully intends to join the team,” the statement reads.

The Pelicans noted that Williamson has been receiving daily COVID-19 tests during his absence.

The Pelicans will start bubble play in a six-team battle for the final playoff spot in the West. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
The Pelicans will start bubble play in a six-team battle for the final playoff spot in the West. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Pelicans in a battle for a playoff spot

For many teams, the eight regular-season games in the bubble before the start of the playoffs won’t matter much. The Pelicans are not one of those teams.

The 28-36 Pelicans are 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They’re part of a six-team battle in the West vying for that final playoff spot. They need every win they can get.

Whenever Williamson does return to the bubble, he won’t be eligible to immediately rejoin the team. He’ll remain in quarantine on the NBA campus until he’s able to pass consecutive COVID-19 tests.

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