After a week’s break, with no Thursday show the prior week, TNT’s Inside the NBA was back on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
The two games set to be broadcast nationally on TNT from Tuesday’s five-game slate were the Heat at Mavericks and the Pelicans at Suns. Discussing the games, a talking point the crew couldn’t avoid was Zion Williamson or rather his absence from the Pelicans active roster.
The No. 1 pick of the 2019 NBA Draft has missed the beginning of the 2021-22 season because of an offseason surgery he underwent on his fractured right foot, an injury he believed to have suffered during the 2021 Summer League.
And now, Williamson is set to be out for another 2-3 weeks at least, as announced by the team going on his latest scans.
MORE: How much longer is Zion Williamson out?
Over the weekend, a video surfaced of the 6-foot-7 forward rehabbing prior to the team’s home game against the Knicks. The ‘Inside the NBA’ panel of Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley began by discussing that footage.
What did Charles Barkley say about Zion Williamson?
Coming into the league, for the similarity in their power for their height, Barkley was often thrown out as a player comp for Williamson.
“It looked like me and Shaq had a baby,” Barkley said, sharing his initial reaction to the clip much to the delight of O’Neal.
Not one to mince words ever, Barkley did get serious after all the laughs ended.
“He’s already hurt, you should not get hurt when you’re young,” Barkley said.
“And he’s already had surgeries on his legs, now he’s got a broken foot, he gonna have to learn, even when you’re hurt, you’re gonna have to control your eating. When guys get hurt, and they come back, you’re trying to get in shape. And if you’re putting on that stress on your knees and your feet, you’re just gonna keep getting hurt.
MORE: Barkley speaks out on unvaccinated Kyrie Irving
Zion Williamson’s injury history
Entering his third season, Williamson has already suffered two leg injuries – a Grade 1 knee sprain while at Duke and a torn meniscus in his first preseason which delayed his NBA debut – and two separate hand injuries – a sprained thumb and a fractured right finger.
These injuries have forced him to miss 59 out of a possible 144 games and is set to miss a chunk of his third season, sidelined almost till Thanksgiving.
Regarding his return, here’s the latest update on the young superstar’s status:
Willie Green says Zion Williamson had his scans done on his foot. He’s cutting, doing some work on the floor.
He still isn’t cleared to do any 5-on-5 work. The plan is for him to get another round of scans in 2-3 weeks that’ll free him up to be a full participant in practice.
— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) November 1, 2021