Sixers Provide Encouraging News on Fultz Injury Front
Fans of the Philadelphia 76ers are no stranger to injuries, especially to the teams' first round picks. Nerlens Noel missed his entire first season, Joel Embiid missed his first two seasons and a majority of his third and Ben Simmons missed his first year. Now, we have Markelle Fultz dealing with shoulder issues after playing in four games to start the season. On October 27, the Sixers announced that Fultz would be out indefinitely with shoulder imbalance and scapula soreness. The 19-year-old out of the University of Washington has made good progress and after seeing a specialist on Sunday, his injury looks to be getting better gradually. He'll be re-evaluated in 2-3 weeks. Here's the official statement from the Sixers:
Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz was examined and evaluated today by Dr. Ben Kibler, Medical Director of the Shoulder Center of Kentucky at the Lexington Clinic, for the soreness and scapular muscle imbalance that he has been experiencing in his right shoulder. The soreness is dissipating and the muscle balance is improving, and Fultz will continue with physiotherapy and begin progressing toward full basketball activities. Fultz will be re-evaluated in approximately two to three weeks. His return to gameplay will be determined by how the shoulder responds to progressive basketball training and practices in the interim.
Fultz has participated in passing and running drills while also involving himself with the team, feeding the ball to the Sixers' big men in the post during practice. With the latest update indicating progression, that may mean he'll begin to start doing drills with his jump shot as he works he way back to the court. If all goes well in two to three weeks, a realistic time for him to return to the court could be mid to late December. The three week mark from today would be December 10.
Fultz's shoulder problems seemed to arise over the summer and many believe the reason his shot was adjusted was because of the ailment. In four games, he shot just 33 percent from the floor and 50 percent from the charity stripe.
Brandon Apter is a contributor to 97.3 ESPN and managing editor at SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @bapter23.