It looks like the Markelle Fultz shoulder saga just took a strange and troubling turn.
The 2017 No. 1 overall pick is scheduled to see a shoulder specialist early next week and will not participate in practices or games until the evaluation is completed, according to a report Tuesday by The Athletic's David Aldridge.
Drama surrounding Fultz's right shoulder gained serious steam Nov. 12 when the 20-year-old guard had a bizarre hitch in a free throw attempt during the Sixers' 124-114 win over the Heat. Fultz, who put up a concerning jumper a week prior against the Nets, said the ball slipped out of his hand on the inadvertent pump-fake foul shot.
Fultz's routine at the charity stripe then changed last week as he started juggling the ball between his hands, all the way up into his release, starting Friday vs. the Jazz.
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Now, at the direction of his attorney Raymond Brothers, according to the report, Fultz will have to miss time as he seeks clarity on his shooting shoulder.
"Nobody's ever 100 percent healthy in this game," Fultz said Nov. 6. "You play five games in seven days, you get bumps and bruises. That's life in the NBA, that's what you sign up for when you get here. But I'm working every day to get better."
The Sixers play Wednesday (vs. Pelicans), Friday (vs. Cavaliers) and Sunday (at Nets), then have two days off before a home game next Wednesday against the Knicks.
Fultz played just 14 games his rookie season, which was marred by injuries and the mysterious shoulder issue. Before the 2017-18 campaign, he suffered a left ankle injury and dealt with soreness in his right knee. Then came the scapular muscle imbalance in his right shoulder during October 2017, forcing him to miss 68 games.
After some early positives with his shooting stroke this season, Fultz has attempted just one three-pointer (which was nearly a full-court heave) over his last 11 games and free throws have become a hurdle of sorts.
Another hurdle Fultz and the Sixers are trying to clear.
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