METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson expects his absence from an ankle injury to last just one game.
After missing Saturday night’s win over the Indiana Pacers, Williamson said he’s “ready to go” for Tuesday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Pelicans listed the star rookie as probable for Tuesday.
Williamson sprained his left ankle Thursday against Chicago in the second quarter but managed to finish that game and lead the Pelicans with 21 points. But on Saturday, he popped up on the injury report after shootaround and ultimately missed the game at the team’s discretion.
“They just told me longevity, the bigger picture, more long term,” Williamson said. “They’ve been doing this for a long time and I’m just learning. I’m just following their guidance.”
Without Williamson or Brandon Ingram, New Orleans defeated Indiana 124-117. Jrue Holiday led the Pelicans with 31 points and 10 assists as he led a season sweep over the Pacers and his brothers Justin and Aaron.
“We’re a great team even without me or Brandon,” Williamson said. “Did y’all see that shot Jrue hit? That stepback. Man, I know he was texting his brothers in the group messages after that one. But we played great. They were real disciplined that game. They executed when we needed and hit big shots to give us the win.”
Williamson was a full participant in practice Monday, according to Alvin Gentry.
The Pelicans have been cautious with Williamson throughout the season. When he was recovering from his meniscus surgery, the Pelicans held him out 13½ weeks in order to make sure his was completely ready to go.
Williamson has scored at least 20 points in four consecutive games — the only rookie to do so this season. He is averaging 19.8 points and 7.5 rebounds in eight games while shooting 57.4 percent from the field.
While Williamson seems to be on track to play Tuesday, Ingram’s status seems to be up in the air.
Ingram was also held out of the Pacers game after he sprained his ankle against the Bulls and New Orleans listed him as questionable vs. Portland on Tuesday.
“I’m just taking it day by day and doing whatever I can on the basketball floor and off the basketball floor for the healing process,” Ingram said.
Gentry said Ingram did not practice, but Ingram was working with his player development coaches following practice, getting shots up with teammate Lonzo Ball.
Ingram is expected to play in his first All-Star Game on Sunday and said he hopes to be healthy by then.
“If all goes well, I’m pretty confident I’ll be playing on Sunday,” Ingram said. “Hopefully I can play before I go to play in the All-Star Game, too.”