There's still no exact date set for Zion Williamson's return to the court, but New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said the No. 1 overall pick is "getting better literally every day."
Griffin told ESPN New Orleans 100.3 in an interview on Friday that Williamson is on schedule with his rehab from the meniscus surgery that knocked him out for the start of his first NBA season.
"He's progressing exactly as we had hoped he would," Griffin told the radio station.
With the Pelicans on a three-game road trip, Williamson stayed back in New Orleans to continue his rehab process.
"We're really optimistic, and most importantly, Zion is really excited and that's where we want him to be," Griffin said.
Before Williamson steps on the court, the Pelicans will put him through a series of tests to try to figure out when he's healthy enough to resume action. In the preseason before the injury, Williamson averaged 23.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 71.4% from the field.
Griffin said the team will "err on the side of caution" when it comes to Williamson's return, but the team is confident he's on schedule.
Once the Pelicans return from their current road trip, the coaching staff, led by Alvin Gentry, will begin putting Williamson through mental reps to help get him back up to speed.
"The physical part is easy for him," Griffin said. "He has an incredibly high basketball IQ. He loves being a teammate and getting better. He's really rare among truly elite young players in that he enjoys the process of getting better. He loves the process of learning the game."
The original timeline for Williamson's surgery, which happened on Oct. 20, was six to eight weeks. Griffin said that while Williamson is on schedule, it's more likely he comes back at the latter end of that timeline.
"Right now, I think we're on target for eight weeks," Griffin said. "Probably not to the day, but in and around that."