Pelicans' Zion Williamson cleared for activity, out 2 weeks

METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson has returned to on-court activities but will still be reevaluated in two weeks from his right hamstring strain that has kept him out since Jan. 2.

A two-week reevaluation would be April 5, with the Pelicans having just three regular-season games remaining from that point on -- vs. Memphis (April 5), New York (April 7) and Minnesota (April 9).

Pelicans coach Willie Green said Williamson's return before the end of the regular season was definitely a possibility.

"I can't confirm that he will be back or not, but we'll see," Green said Wednesday. "It's extremely positive for him and our team. It's been another one of those years that he starts off well, makes an All-Star Game, and it's been difficult navigating injuries. It's part of the game, but it's definitely been tough.

"So I'm sure he's relieved to start to feel normal again, being on the floor."

Green said Williamson wasn't doing a lot of on-court work at the moment because the team was taking a slower approach with the injury.

Williamson originally hurt the hamstring Jan. 2, but he reinjured it before the All-Star break as he was prepping for his return.

"He's starting to move a bit, do some running, doing some shooting," Green said. "But we're taking it kind of slow."

Green added that Williamson was "thrilled" to take the next step in his rehab process in doing more basketball activities.

The Pelicans are 35-37 and are tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for 11th place in the Western Conference standings. They are 1.5 games out of the sixth-place spot -- and being able to avoid the play-in tournament.

Williamson is averaging 26.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in the 29 games he has played this season and would certainly be a boost to a team that hasn't been the same without him.

New Orleans was 23-14 when Williamson was injured , and the Pelicans' 12-23 mark without him puts them in the bottom five of winning percentage since then.

Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado, who has been out since Feb. 27 with a stress reaction in his right tibia, has shown incremental improvement and will continue his rehabilitation process and be reevaluated in two to three weeks.