Zion Williamson
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The NBA just took a major hit after hearing Zion Williamson will miss six-to-eight weeks following surgery on a torn meniscus.

Zion Williamson was held out of the New Orleans Pelicans’ final preseason game against the New York Knicks last Friday. On Monday, the Pelicans delivered the bad news.

The No. 1 overall pick won’t make his debut in the NBA’s opening game on Tuesday night. In fact, fans won’t see the highly-touted rookie for months.

“Zion Williamson underwent successful arthroscopic surgery today to address a torn right lateral meniscus,”  the team said in a statement. “The routine debridement was performed by Dr. Jason Folk with assistance from Team Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Misty Suri. The timetable for his full return to play is estimated at six to eight weeks.”

This is gutting news for the NBA. Williamson’s hype was hitting a fever pitch after his preseason outbursts. The rookie sensation averaged 23.3 points on 71.4% shooting from the floor in four preseason games.

Eastern Conference teams who host the Pelicans early in the season will miss the inevitable ticket boost from Williamson’s presence. The Brooklyn Nets will surely miss Williamson when they play New Orleans at the Barclays Center on Nov. 4

Additionally, this injury will pose a significant hurdle for Williamson in the Rookie of the Year race. Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies and the Knicks’ RJ Barrett will both have a head start on making an impression.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, “The fewest games played by a Rookie of the Year is still Patrick Ewing’s 50 out of 82 for the Knicks in 1985-86.” If there was ever another rookie who could win the Rookie of the Year playing so few games, it would be Williamson.

Hopefully, Zion can make a full recovery and return to the court sooner rather than later.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.