Remember when Markelle Fultz’s right shoulder injury wasn’t considered serious enough to pull him from the Philadelphia 76ers’ rotation?
On October 29th, the
#sixers said there was no structural damage in Fultz’s shoulder and he needed some PT. We’re 6 weeks later, he still isn’t practicing, and no real update has been given as to why.
Jessica Camerato provided some additional details on the matter for NBC Sports Philadelphia:
Markelle Fultz is back … from Kentucky. The No. 1 pick has returned from rehabbing his right shoulder and remains listed as out.
Fultz traveled last week to receive physical therapy for soreness and scapular muscle imbalance with Dr. Ben Kibler, Medical Director of the Shoulder Center of Kentucky at the Lexington Clinic.
Brett Brown described Fultz’s basketball activity at the Sixers’ training complex on Wednesday as “minimal.” The team announced on Nov. 19 he would be reevaluated in “approximately two to three weeks.”
“We are just happy to have him back,” Brown said after practice. “I felt like I haven’t seen him in a long time.”
So, in sum, this remains a bad look for the Sixers. Nearly everyone was wondering why Fultz kept playing in the first place. Now, even if you go by their Nov. 19 update, he’s nearing his three-week evaluation date (Dec. 10), and they still haven’t offered any concrete intel on where he’s at in the recovery process.
Given how the Sixers handled timelines for Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons when they suffered season-derailing injuries, this shouldn’t surprise us. This isn’t to say Fultz won’t play in 2017-18. He will. He should. He might. We think. Maybe. The hell if I, or you, or anyone else knows.
On the bright side, the Sixers are three games over .500 and tracking toward their first playoff berth since 2012. Their pursuit of home-court advantage in the first round of the postseason, not to mention their free-agency ambitions, will keep overshadowing whatever’s going on with Fultz—no matter how uncomfortably, if destructively, this entire things comes off.