);
New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans' Vice President David Griffin 'anticipates' rookie Zion Williamson will make his debut Jan. 23 vs. Spurs

Zion Williamson is expected to make his NBA regular-season debut Thursday, January 23rd when the New Orleans Pelicans take on the San Antonio Spurs.

Pelicans' Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin told reporters he "anticipates" the rookie will be ready in a week's time and that he's "radically improved physical version of himself" according to Will Guillory of The Athletic.

The 6-foot-6 powerhouse forward has been out since the start of the season after being diagnosed with a torn meniscus. The initial timeline, while never set in stone was 6-8 weeks.

Griffin told reporters on Wednesday that he did indeed consider shutting Williamson down for the entire season. He doesn't expect the rookie to play in Pelicans' back-to-backs. The rookie also won't have a minute restriction placed on him. That will be determined by his play according to Griffin.

Williamson averaged 23.3 points, 6.5 rebounds shooting 71.4% from the field in 27.3 minutes per game in the preseason.

All eyes will be on the rookie who may be joining the Pelicans at the right time as they surge towards the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

New Orleans has the fifth-best record in the league since December 24th and find themselves just 4.0 games out of the last remaining playoff spot with half their season remaining.

According to Tankathon.com, the Pelicans have the 9th easiest remaining schedule based on opponents winning percentage.

More to come.

More from NBA.com

george-kawhi-lebron-davis
Tracking the Clippers and Lakers Grammy Trips
Gilbert McGregor
When are the stars playing?
TV schedule for the 2019-20 NBA season in India
NBA.com Staff
#Kawhi
Friday's scores: Kawhi powers Clippers past Magic
NBA.com Staff
all-star-moment-mitchell-ingram
All-Star Moment: Ingram, Mitchell shine in wild OT duel
Gilbert McGregor
giannis-smart-ftr.jpg
Takeaways: Giannis, Kemba battle as Bucks hold off Celtics
Kyle Irving
#WNBA1
WNBA announces expanded schedule, more TV Games
NBA.com Staff
More News