New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson was cleared to participate in one-on-one drills on Wednesday, head coach Willie Green told reporters.
Williamson was captured on video playing one-on-one with player development coach Corey Brewer Wednesday at the Pelicans' practice facility, according to The Athletic. In one video, he was seen beating Brewer to the basket and dunking over him with two hands.
"We still have to be careful with how much he does. Just because he's still going through the healing process," Green told reporters. "But, you know, we're happy that he's getting better ... I know it feels good for him to finally be able to get on the floor and do some of the things he's doing."
Williamson was cleared to participate one day after he posted an Instagram story of himself throwing down a monster dunk at the Pelicans facility. In that clip, he threw the ball off the backboard, caught it, brought the ball between his legs, and dunked with his left hand.
The drills are likely an encouraging sign for the Pelicans and their fans, as Williamson hasn't been seen much after he suffered a fractured foot prior to the summer league last year. Williamson recently returned to the New Orleans area after spending time in Portland for his foot rehab, reports said.
The Pelicans revealed the injury on the first day of training camp in September, saying they hoped he’d be ready to play by the regular-season opener on Oct. 20. Williamson initially agreed with that timeline, which has since proved overly optimistic by at least five months. He reportedly suffered numerous setbacks.
Earlier this month, the Pelicans said his recovery improved to the point where he was able to gradually resume basketball activities, however, the team gave no timetable for when he might play in a game.
"As far as right now, the update is the update. Z is still out indefinitely," Green said. "We're still working towards being fully healthy, which he's not. But he's getting there, and we'll update you guys at that point -- if we get to that point."
Williamson has played in just 85 games for the Pelicans since the team selected the former Duke Blue Devil first overall in the 2019 NBA draft. He has been extremely productive when healthy, averaging seven rebounds and 25.7 points per game during his NBA career.
New Orleans (30-42) is currently 10th in the Western Conference standings.
The Associated Press contributed to this report