Zion Williamson is learning new walking and running techniques
Zion Williamson on the Pelicans' bench - Photo via Forbes

ESPN's Jorge Sedano sat down with Zion Williamson before the Pelicans' Christmas Day bout with the Denver Nuggets to get the inside scoop on his injury.

A torn meniscus can sideline players anywhere from 4 weeks to a few months with the average time off settling somewhere around 40 days. But Zion says the rehab process is not only focused on recovery from the surgery, the Pelicans are trying to change the way Williamson walks and runs at the same time.

Zion and the Pelicans call this working on the "kinetic chain of his body". He fully trusts the organization and will do whatever he can to get healthy.

Hyper athletic players like Zion will always have a greater probability of injury due to the amount of high-impact moves they endure. Zion is at an even greater risk due to his body mass. If the athletic techniques are not perfect (especially at the NBA level), this danger increases again.

The most notable recent example of this is Derrick Rose

People were always worried about how Rose landed from his jumps. Often one-legged, often high-impact. When he went down in the 2012 playoffs with a torn ACL, the fears became the Bulls' worst nightmare.

The following video by the fantastic YouTube channel "By Any Means Basketball" breaks down Rose's jumping and landing techniques scientifically to show how and why he has been so injury-prone.


Technique for running, walking, jumping, and landing is clearly important. The last thing the Pelicans want is for Zion to suffer the same fate as Rose. By fixing his form at such a young age and before playing a regular-season NBA game, they will hopefully mitigate his future injury risk.

Sedano reports that New Orleans wants Zion to go through a minimum of two full team practices before returning. Their goal is for this to happen just after the calendar rolls over to 2020.

New Year's Eve will mark 10 weeks since Zion had successful surgery. While this is past the average time lost for a meniscus tear, it's not surprising that the Pelicans franchise are taking as much time as needed to ensure Williamson is 100% healthy.

Let's hope he's back out there soon.

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