Sixers’ Markelle Fultz Has Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Will Miss 3-6 Weeks
Fultz, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, has been diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, his attorney/agent Raymond Brothers and the 76ers announced on Tuesday.
Fultz, 20, is expected to miss three to six weeks to undergo rehabilitation on his right shoulder. Brothers said Fultz will do his rehab in Los Angeles.
How will Markelle Fultz’s diagnosis affect his future?
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Beyond his care with the 76ers’ training staff, Fultz had seen many specialists in the past year, visiting approximately ten specialists in the past week alone. There was a Sixers medical team member on each of the visits to the specialists, Brothers said.
Thoracic outlet syndrome “affects nerves between the neck and shoulder resulting in abnormal functional movement and range of motion,” Brothers said. “thus severely limiting Markelle’s ability to shoot a basketball.”
Sixers head coach Brett Brown is hoping to reincorporate him into the lineup later this season.
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“Personally, I’m happy that there has been some judgment, there has been an assessment,” Brown said during Wednesday’s media availability. “I had a quick exchange with Markelle yesterday. Moving forward, I think it’s still waiting to get him back with us and help him get back on the court.
“At the moment, we miss him,” Brown added. “I miss his company. I miss him not being around. He for sure could be an integral part of us trying to continue to win games. But immediately, my thought goes into how do we get him back with us as soon as we can. I’m excited to get him back as soon as we’re able.”
Fultz lost the ability to follow through on long jump shots, and there’s been some debate about just how much of this perplexing circumstance is physical or mental.
“People were saying it was a mental problem and it is not,” Brothers told ESPN on Tuesday night. “There’s no way you’re the No. 1 pick in the world and all of a sudden you aren’t able to consistently raise your arms to shoot a basketball. Something is physically wrong. Now we have the answer to that problem.”
The 76ers will look to extend their four-game winning streak on Wednesday night, as they face off against the top-ranked Toronto Raptors.
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