Things certainly haven't gone the way the New Orleans Pelicans had planned since they took Duke forward Zion Williamson with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

Williamson suffered a knee injury during the exhibition season and is expected to miss nearly two months as he recovers from surgery to have his right lateral meniscus repaired. Without Williamson in the lineup, the Pelicans have lost six of their first seven games, giving them the worst record in the Western Conference.

Still, Williamson remains upbeat about his rehab and the team's long-term outlook.

"I'm not out forever so my mindset is just come back stronger, come back better so I can help my team," he told reporters Thursday after practice in his first public comments since the team announced his injury.