When the Pelicans announced that Zion would miss the rest of the preseason due to a non-specified knee injury, everyone in the NBA held their breath. With his shoe exploding in college, leading to a knee injury, him missing out on summer league because of a knee issue, and now a third knee thing in such a short period of time – this doesn’t sound good. The “non-specified” part didn’t help as well. Then Woj helped us catch our breath.
This is obviously great news, considering everything that went through our mind, but it’s still not good to hear that the recovery will take weeks. We don’t know what’s wrong with Zion, so we can only hope this is the Pelicans being extra careful. The good thing is that Pelicans owner Gayle Benson kept her word and allowed GM David Griffin to reshape the entire franchise and put her money where her mouth is. One of the first things Griffin did was to bring the player performance staff from his days back at Phoenix, headed by Aaron Nelson. There are few better hands to put Zion’s health in the NBA.
But the writing is on the wall, three knee injuries are a pattern that will need to be addressed. Ae much as Zion’s athleticism is impressive, especially considering his body weight, an 82 game season takes its toll on your knees and ankles. Landing 280 pounds over and over on a nicked knee leads to bad things. So Paul Pierce just confirmed what a lot of people have been thinking and saying (via The Jump):
“Knee injuries, he’s carrying so much weight. He’s so athletic, but I think he’s gonna have to lose some more weight. that’s one thing that happened to me. I had a bone bruise in my knee, my ninth year. I decided to trim down, lose about 10 more pounds. Just to take that extra pressure of my knees and it really helped.”
The Truth knows what he’s talking about, it doesn’t sound like much but losing 10-15 pounds makes a difference. Let’s say Zion drops 20 pounds to help out his knees. I’m confident he’d still run through defenders like a freight train at 260 pounds.