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Pelicans Insider Has Promising Update On Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson warming up for the New Orleans Pelicans.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 18: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans warms up before a game against the LA Clippers at the Smoothie King Center on January 18, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Zion Williamson took a big step in his recovery on Thursday, indicating he could be closer to returning for the Pelicans.

The New Orleans Pelicans progressed Williamson to some full-court work on Thursday afternoon, per a report. Pelicans head coach Willie Green even went as far to call it a "controlled scrimmage," although he was mainly playing against development coaches.

There is widespread speculation the Pelicans are trying to get Williamson back on the court in time for the playoffs. New Orleans is heading to the Western Conference play-intournament where it'll face off against the San Antonio Spurs.

If Williamson returns the Pelicans would be as dangerous as ever. His recovery is heading in the right direction.

If Zion Williamson is going to return before the play-in tournament it's really now or never. The Pelicans have three regular-season games remaining against the Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors.

The play-in tournament, meanwhile, would begin for the Pelicans on the night of Wednesday, Apr. 13, which is less than a week away. If they win they'll play two days later against the loser of the seven-eight matchup in the Western Conference.

Having Williamson back in the lineup would be an absolute game-changer. In a short-game stretch he'd be capable of wrecking havoc. It's now or never, though.

Williamson's availability for next week's play-in should be determined by early next week.