Updated: 9:25 p.m.
Anybody else confused?
For a team that has been ultra cautious and conservative in its handling of injuries, the latest news from Markelle Fultz's agent, Raymond Brothers, seems bewildering at best.
Here’s what he originally told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Markelle had a shoulder injury and fluid drained out of the back of his shoulder. He literally cannot raise up his arms to shoot the basketball. He decided to try and fight through the pain to help the team. He has a great attitude. We are committed to finding a solution to get Markelle back to 100 percent.
Then Brothers corrected and clarified some information:
He had a cortisone shot on Oct. 5, which means fluid was put into his shoulder — not taken out.
My intention earlier was to let people know that he's been experiencing discomfort. We will continue to work with (Sixers president of basketball operations) Bryan Colangelo and the medical staff.
Still ... literally can’t raise his arm to shoot? If this is the case, why in the world would he be playing? He’s looked awful in his first four games as a pro. If you look at his shooting form from this free throw attempt in the Raptors game, it’s clear something’s up.
But if you watch this block or drive in the Wizards game, he appears to be able to raise his arms to perform the required basketball acts.
So what is really going on here? Fultz's agent broke the news of the shoulder update, not the club. Again, I’ll ask why a team that is so rooted in sports science and not rushing young players back from injuries would put Fultz out there and possibly make things worse? Did the Sixers not believe this was something serious? Do they think it’s a psychological thing? Even by Sixers standards, this one is strange.
According to Brothers, Fultz had the cortisone shot, which caused him to miss some preseason action. Brett Brown has admitted the shoulder has been nagging Fultz, but clearly the doctors and the organization didn’t think it warranted shutting him down.
He is shooting 33.3 percent from the floor, 50 percent from the free throw line, and has not attempted a three-point shot. In his lone college season, he shot 47.6 from the floor and 41.3 from three-point range. Wouldn’t the prudent organizational approach be to sit the kid and let the shoulder settle down? Or do the Sixers feel this is the kind of nagging injury the rookie should play through? Out of character for them but possible? Something stinks here. There is a definite disconnect.
After his botched public relations handling of Joel Embiid’s knee injury last season, Colangelo promised to be more forthcoming on the injury front.
This doesn’t feel like transparency.