The Sixers are expecting to announce an anticipated medical update on Markelle Fultz Friday. In the meantime, president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo provided an update on the rookie, who returned this week from rehabbing in Kentucky.
“Surface level, I would say that he's progressing well,” Colangelo said Thursday night. “He continues to focus on the PT and strength and conditioning aspect of the return. The good news is the soreness is completely gone and the muscle imbalance is gone.”
Fultz has been sidelined since late October because of right shoulder soreness and scapular muscle imbalance. The injury became apparent early in the season when his shot form was dramatically different than in college and even as recent as summer league. The tricky part was the Sixers were uncertain if Fultz changed his shot because of the injury, or if the injury impacted the change in shot.
Fultz and the Sixers sought out multiple medical opinions before rehabbing with Dr. Ben Kibler, Medical Director of the Shoulder Center of Kentucky at the Lexington Clinic. The No. 1 pick has been back with the Sixers at the training complex, though he has not practiced.
“Now it's about retraining those muscles,” Colangelo said. “It's also about getting in basketball condition and reworking a lot of those mechanisms, muscular and otherwise. So it's encouraging to see what we've seen. There still is no timeline on his return. But we anticipate that the end is near and he is doing really well."
The Sixers also plan to have an update on Justin Anderson, who has missed the last 10 games with shin splints/tibial stress syndrome in his left leg. The bench could use another boost. The Sixers’ reserves have struggled as a whole in their two losses this week to the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers.