Things were looking up for the No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 Draft just a month or so ago. That was when the Philadelphia 76ers' Markelle Fultz had entered the final phase of his injury rehabilitation work and seemed on track to return to the team's lineup. However, based on comments from Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo today, Fultz may not play again this season.
In a discussion with reporters today, Colangelo said there is currently no timeline for Fultz's return and added the guard could be back in days or could miss the rest of the season.
"There’s always a chance that he’s going to be out there soon, and there’s a chance that he’s not going to play this year," Colangelo said. "I can’t answer that question because we don’t know the answer to that."
Bryan Colangelo on Markelle Fultz: "There’s always a chance that he’s going to be out there soon, and there’s a chance that he’s not going to play this year. I can’t answer that question because we don’t know the answer to that."— Jessica Camerato (@JessicaCamerato) February 9, 2018
Per Derek Bodner of The Athletic, the Sixers still don't know if Fultz's changed shooting mechanic caused the injury or if his injury caused him to change his shot mechanics. As well, the Sixers have had to complete rebuild the muscle memory in Fultz's shooting mechanics.
Other quick notes on Fultz:— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) February 9, 2018
- They still don't know if changing the shot caused the injury or if the injury caused the changed shot.
- No timeline. Could come back in days or could be out the season.
- Has to completely rebuild the muscle memory in his shooting mechanics
"We hope to see [Fultz] this year. If not, we will wait until he's ready to participate, and help, and put him in a position to succeed. That's going to be a determination that's made at some point in the future," Colangelo said.
"He's doing some things on the basketball court, in the limited basketball activity that he's taking place in, that he's participating in, and he's dazzling in many ways. But when he's ready to help his team and be ready, I can't give you a timeline."
Four games into the 2017-18 season, the team shut down Fultz to deal with issues in his right shoulder. He was ruled out indefinitely on Oct. 29 with soreness and scapular muscle imbalance in his right shoulder. There is no structural impairment to the shoulder and as of early December, Fultz no longer had soreness in the shoulder.
Fultz has had problems with his shoulder all season that have greatly affected his free-throw mechanics and his form was widely mocked as his shots clanked off the backboard.
Fultz struggled to begin the season, averaging 6.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 18.9 minutes. He shot just 33 percent overall (9-for-27), 50 percent on free throws (6-for-12) and has not attempted a 3-pointer.