Six weeks later, all still seems quiet on the Markelle Fultz front

We still don’t know when we might expect Markelle Fultz to get back on the court.

Hey, did you know Markelle Fultz had been in Kentucky for a while? No? Well, he was!

The No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft spent last week in receiving “physical therapy for soreness and scapular muscle imbalance with Dr. Ben Kibler, Medical Director of the Shoulder Center of Kentucky at the Lexington Clinic,” according to Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia. Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown is glad he’s back!

“We are just happy to have him back,” Brown said after the team’s Wednesday practice. “I felt like I haven’t seen him in a long time.”

[Now’s the time to sign up for Fantasy Basketball! Join for free]

You’re not the only one, Coach! It’s been nearly six weeks since the Sixers shut down the malfunctioning Fultz, and nearly two weeks since a medical update that said Fultz’s situation is improving, that he’d “begin progressing toward full basketball activities” and would be “re-evaluated in approximately two to three weeks.”

That update on how the shoulder’s responding to increased basketball activity hasn’t come yet. One report suggested that update might come Thursday, ahead of the Sixers’ meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers, but evidently, no dice:



On one hand, it’s not necessarily stunning that the Sixers wouldn’t have a hard-and-fast timeline nailed down, even six weeks down the line, given the nature of Fultz’s specific injury. From athletic trainer Justin Shaginaw for the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Return to play can be very difficult to predict, especially with the diagnosis of scapular dyskinesis. Some athletes respond to rehab in a few weeks whereas others require months of work. Rehab focuses on improving scapular stability and movement patterns, but also addressing any kinetic chain dysfunctions that may be contributing to the shoulder issue. Sometimes another injury, such as Fultz’s previous ankle sprain, can cause certain muscle groups to overcompensate, resulting in dysfunction elsewhere in the body, like Fultz’s shoulder injury. Think of it as your car’s alignment being off.

On the other, though, it’s not unreasonable for Sixers fans to find the ongoing lack of communication about what’s going on — especially after saying they’d be reporting back about how Fultz had responded to increased activity — pretty concerning. They’ve got some experience with this, after all.

Fultz hasn’t suited up since Oct. 23, when he scored two points on 1-for-4 shooting with three assists, three turnovers, two rebounds and a steal in 16 minutes of work in Philly’s 97-86 win over the Detroit Pistons. The performance — tentative, labored, and pained for a fourth straight game — exacerbated concerns that something was seriously wrong with the former Washington standout.

The concerns began to crop up before the start of the season, when footage from Sixers training camp and preseason games showed Fultz sporting a drastically different, and significantly less successful, shooting motion than the one he’d featured while knocking down 41 percent of his 3-point tries and 65 percent of his free throws in his lone year on campus. They persisted as Fultz began his career by making only nine of his first 27 field-goal attempts — with none coming from farther than 14 feet away — and six of his first 12 free throws.

The rumblings quickly grew loud enough that neither Fultz’s camp nor the Sixers could ignore them anymore. Fultz’s agent issuing a pair of confusing and seemingly contradictory statements about what exactly was going on with his client’s right shoulder. First, Raymond Brothers said that the 19-year-old had had “fluid drained out of the back of his shoulder” before the start of the regular season and “literally cannot raise up his arms to shoot the basketball.” Several hours after that, he reversed course, saying Fultz “had a cortisone shot on Oct. 5, which means fluid was put into his shoulder — not taken out.”

A day later, the Sixers — who have had more than their fair share of issues with injuries to their top draft picks, and with a method of communicating information about those injuries that doesn’t exactly inspire much confidence in what’s going on behind the scenes — shut Fultz down. In so doing, they committed to giving 2017’s top choice — a pick the Sixers got from the Boston Celtics in exchange for 2017’s No. 1 selection (used on Jayson Tatum, who looks great) and another first-round pick in either 2018 (if the Los Angeles Lakers’ choice falls between Nos. 2 and 5) or 2019 (belonging to either Philly or the Sacramento Kings, whichever lands higher) — as much time as he needed to get his shoulder and his head right after a trying start to his NBA career.

The good news: no less a source than Joel Embiid reports that the rookie’s still in good cheer as he goes through the monotony of rehab.

“I’ve been talking to him, even though he was away,” Embiid said, according to Camerato. “His spirits are in a good place and it was great to have him back.”

Then again, after Fultz’s Washington Huskies pulled a major upset on Embiid’s Kansas Jayhawks on Wednesday night, JoJo might have preferred it if his buddy had kept quiet:


Social media sniping aside, though, Fultz’s ongoing absence remains a fly in the ointment of what has otherwise been a pretty wonderful start to the season for the Sixers, who sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference at 13-10, and who have shown flashes of incredibly fun and dominant play behind menacing pivot Embiid and All-World rookie playmaker Ben Simmons.

“This is not normal,” one Eastern Conference general manager told Bleacher Report’s Ken Berger of the Fultz saga. “It’s perplexing.”

That remains the case. Sure, Fultz’s hinge is healthy enough to show us all that he can lift his arm over his head to put a shirt on, but it’s not enough to move beyond “minimal” activity in his return to the team following his time in Kentucky:


And so, until Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo speaks up, there’s not much else to do besides wait and wonder whether Fultz is a few weeks away from being unveiled as the latest Philly freshman to take a medical redshirt after coming to the City of Brotherly Love.

– – – – – – –

Dan Devine is a writer and editor for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

  • EU official: May statement underscores risk of no-deal Brexit
    News
    AFP News

    EU official: May statement underscores risk of no-deal Brexit

    British Prime Minister Theresa May's statement to parliament on Brexit negotiations has underlined how hard it will be to reach an amicable divorce, a European official warned Tuesday. May is due in Brussels on Wednesday to address the other 27 European Union leaders on progress towards agreeing

  • Pompeo meets Saudi king over Khashoggi case, Turks to search consul's residence
    News
    Reuters

    Pompeo meets Saudi king over Khashoggi case, Turks to search consul's residence

    RIYADH/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Tuesday to discuss the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as Turkish police prepared to search the Saudi consul's residence in Istanbul in a widening probe. Turkish officials say

  • Loke: Disrespectful to accept titles without consulting party
    News
    Malay Mail

    Loke: Disrespectful to accept titles without consulting party

    KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — The DAP Central Executive Committee (CEC) today said party leaders who received titles or awards while on active political service have no respect for the party. DAP...

  • Musk says Tesla owners who ordered full self-driving version to get chip upgrade
    Tech
    Reuters

    Musk says Tesla owners who ordered full self-driving version to get chip upgrade

    Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said a new chip that improves autopilot features would be available six months in advance to people who ordered the full self-driving version of the electric cars. In a series of tweets http://bit.ly/2QRIzAt, Musk said ..."~6 months before it is in all

  • Under growing EU pressure, May meets her ministers on Brexit
    News
    Reuters

    Under growing EU pressure, May meets her ministers on Brexit

    LONDON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May will discuss Brexit with her ministers on Tuesday, under pressure to rethink her plans from both some members of her Conservative Party and the European Union. A day before May heads to Brussels for a summit, a senior EU official again made

  • Saudis Reportedly Plan To Announce Jamal Khashoggi Was Killed Accidentally
    News
    HuffPost

    Saudis Reportedly Plan To Announce Jamal Khashoggi Was Killed Accidentally

    Saudi officials have contemplated announcing that journalist Jamal Khashoggi

  • Vietnam police bust massive meth haul
    News
    AFP News

    Vietnam police bust massive meth haul

    Vietnam police discovered a massive haul of suspected methamphetamine worth an estimated $3 million after pulling over a speeding truck, authorities said Tuesday, the latest major bust in a country where synthetic drug use is on the rise. Two men managed to escape the scene but one of them who was arrested

  • Police on high alert ahead of Indian temple opening to women
    News
    AFP News

    Police on high alert ahead of Indian temple opening to women

    India deployed hundreds of police Tuesday in southern Kerala state where protesters have threatened to stop women from entering a Hindu temple, despite a court ruling they can pray there. India's Supreme Court in September overturned a prohibition on women of menstruating age, between 10 and 50,

  • U.N. rights chief urges waiving of immunity in Khashoggi case
    News
    Reuters

    U.N. rights chief urges waiving of immunity in Khashoggi case

    U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called on Saudi Arabia and Turkey on Tuesday to reveal everything they know about the disappearance and possible murder of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi and said Riyadh should waive immunity on its diplomatic premises and officials. Overnight, Turkish crime

  • Russian-backed Crimea to boost trade, transport ties with Syria
    News
    Reuters

    Russian-backed Crimea to boost trade, transport ties with Syria

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has tentative plans to visit Russian-backed Crimea in April 2019 and is in talks about starting regular passenger flights between Syria and the Black Sea peninsula, Russian news agencies said on Tuesday. Crimea has been under Western sanctions since it was annexed from

  • Winamp to return in 2019 as new all-in-one audio mobile app
    Style
    AFP Relax

    Winamp to return in 2019 as new all-in-one audio mobile app

    Winamp is back. The legendary media player, poplar with users in the late 1990s and early 2000s, is expected to return in the form of a new mobile application bringing together all of a user's music, streaming services and podcasts, according to the website TechCrunch. Bought by the Belgian company

  • Locals fear being cast away on Brexit border 'island'
    News
    AFP News

    Locals fear being cast away on Brexit border 'island'

    For people living in and around the Drummully Polyp, a squiggle on the map of the Irish frontier, life without an open border is unimaginable and a reminder of the bad old days of checkpoints. Threaded through emerald farmlands with serpentine disorder, this section of the border all but hems in locals

  • Brexit clouds on horizon for Holyhead's lifeline port
    News
    AFP News

    Brexit clouds on horizon for Holyhead's lifeline port

    Hundreds of trucks roll off the docks at Holyhead every day, bringing goods to and from Ireland in an economic lifeline for this deprived corner of Wales, which is now threatened by Brexit. Just 73 miles (117 kilometres) from the Irish capital Dublin, the port's future will depend on how any Brexit

  • The female car mechanic driving change in patriarchal Pakistan
    News
    AFP News

    The female car mechanic driving change in patriarchal Pakistan

    Since picking up a wrench as one of the first female car mechanics in conservative Pakistan, Uzma Nawaz has faced two common reactions: shock and surprise. "When they see me doing this type of work they are really surprised." Hailing from the small, impoverished town of Dunyapur in eastern

  • War drills on the school curriculum in eastern Ukraine
    News
    AFP News

    War drills on the school curriculum in eastern Ukraine

    Huddled in a basement, dozens of children cover their heads with their hands, practising what to do if their school comes under attack in eastern Ukraine's war. At School Number Eight in Sartana village, only 10 km (6 miles) from the fighting, an alarm signals children to make their way calmly underground

  • Bulgaria urged to save communist-era architectural 'masterpiece'
    News
    AFP News

    Bulgaria urged to save communist-era architectural 'masterpiece'

    Perched like a vast flying saucer on a central Bulgarian mountainside, Buzludzha is a brutalist concrete monument that was built to glorify communism nearly 40 years ago. The striking circular building has been left to fall victim to vandalism and decay, as Bulgaria has been eager to forget its communist

  • Dell releases monitor nearly 4 ft long to replace your two-screen setup
    Style
    AFP Relax

    Dell releases monitor nearly 4 ft long to replace your two-screen setup

    On Monday Dell announced the gigantic UltraSharp 49 Curved Monitor. The 47-by 13-inch display is basically two 27-inch displays put together (or separate thanks to Picture-by-Picture tech) to better support business communities. The monitor is just one of Dell's new collection of UltraSharp monitors

  • Don’t feed the shoe trolls, Kit Siang tells Maszlee
    News
    Malay Mail

    Don’t feed the shoe trolls, Kit Siang tells Maszlee

    KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — Education Minister Maszlee Malik should concentrate on his intended policies and let these speak for themselves rather than spend time fending off criticism over minor...

  • Family Writes Candid Obituary For Woman Who Died After Years Of Opioid Addiction
    News
    HuffPost

    Family Writes Candid Obituary For Woman Who Died After Years Of Opioid Addiction

    A grieving family from Burlington, Vermont, has penned a heartbreaking

  • Pompeo holds crisis talks in Riyadh on missing journalist
    News
    AFP News

    Pompeo holds crisis talks in Riyadh on missing journalist

    US top diplomat Mike Pompeo held talks with Saudi King Salman on Tuesday seeking answers about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, amid US media reports the kingdom may be mulling an admission he died during a botched interrogation. "Rogue killers" could be to blame for the disappearance

  • Tearing up newly built Hung Hom rail platform ‘unavoidable’ to probe construction scandal, Hong Kong minister says
    News
    South China Morning Post

    Tearing up newly built Hung Hom rail platform ‘unavoidable’ to probe construction scandal, Hong Kong minister says

    Demolishing a newly built platform at Hung Hom railway station will be “unavoidable” if investigators want to get to the bottom of a shoddy construction scandal involving the facility, Hong Kong’s transport minister said on Tuesday. The comment by Frank Chan Fan fuelled fears that the city’s HK$97.1

  • Healthy Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipes That Taste Amazing
    News
    HuffPost

    Healthy Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipes That Taste Amazing

    As we move deeper into fall and the weather starts to cool down, few things

  • I Quit Smoking And Replaced Cigarettes With Sandwiches
    News
    HuffPost

    I Quit Smoking And Replaced Cigarettes With Sandwiches

    BROOKLYN ― I am walking down the street to Defonte's. I need a sandwich.

  • Syrians search for IS captives a year after caliphate crumbles
    News
    AFP News

    Syrians search for IS captives a year after caliphate crumbles

    When the Islamic State group lost its Syrian bastion Raqa last year, Amani hoped to finally uncover what happened to her husband who had vanished in the jihadists' prisons. Anyone who violated the jihadists' rulings or was suspected of working against them was locked up in its notorious prisons

  • Macron reshuffles cabinet, hoping to a draw line under turbulent few months
    News
    Reuters

    Macron reshuffles cabinet, hoping to a draw line under turbulent few months

    French President Emmanuel Macron reshuffled his government on Tuesday, naming the head of his ruling party to the sensitive post of interior minister and maintaining a left-right balance as he builds a broad base to fight the 2019 European elections.