Kenrich Williams discusses back injury, building strength during quarantine

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Pelicans guard/forward Kenrich Williams spent months rehabbing a back injury, and was close to returning to play when the NBA season was postponed in March.

On a Zoom call with media Tuesday, Williams said he has been taking advantage of having extra time during quarantine to continue getting healthy.

“It was super tough because I kind of rehabbed up to a good point before the season ended,” said Williams. “I think God just blessed me with some more time because I was able to strengthen my back after the pandemic. A couple of months went by, and I was able to get some extra work in and just improve.”

Williams started in 18 of his 35 appearances early in the season.

During that time, Williams defensive-instincts provided a spark to a Pelicans team dealing with injuries elsewhere.

Head coach Alvin Gentry says in Williams’ first few practices in Orlando, it was clear the team missed his presence on the court.

Gentry said, “Well, the one thing that Kenrich has done really is that he adds energy to the practices. Defensively, hustle plays, coming up with things like that, so just having him out there. The thing that he still has to try to get to is the consistent shooting and things like that, but if he’s out on the floor or somewhere along the line, he’s going to make a couple of plays or give you a couple of extra possessions.”

Williams says he’s been focusing on his offensive game as the Pelicans approach the NBA restart.

“I was working on really just all parts of my game, mainly offensively too, but it feels good to just get back out there and just play again really. I had a hard time moving with my back injury, so it was good these last couple of months, I was able to put some good work in and improve,” said Williams.

The Pelicans open the eight seeding games on Thursday, July 30 when they take on the Utah Jazz.

To hear more from Williams, click on the video above.

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