Furkan Korkmaz

Sixers rookie (not that one) gets crash course in recovery

Sixers rookie (not that one) gets crash course in recovery

Markelle Fultz is not the only Sixers rookie dealing with a lingering injury this season. 

Furkan Korkmaz has not played since Dec. 15 because of a Lisfranc injury in his left foot he suffered during a G-League game. 

His first season in the NBA was planned to be one of development after he joined the Sixers via a buyout from Anadolu Efes in Turkey. The 20-year-old shooting guard was expected to spend time with the Sixers to learn about the league as well as be assigned to their G-League affiliate, the Sevens, to get on the court. That routine was stalled when Korkmaz, the No. 26 pick in the 2016 draft, was injured. 

“I couldn’t walk for six weeks, so I was on a scooter,” Korkmaz said this week. “On that period I was doing some ball-handling stuff, I was doing some shooting, I lifted every day."

Korkmaz’s goal is to get as healthy as possible from what is the first long-term injury in his professional career, which began as a teenager in Europe. He has been doing 1-on-0 drills to this point. Korkmaz has yet to dunk the ball but has been cleared to jump. 

He put on a three-point showcase prior to the Sixers’ game against the Heat Thursday, draining threes with a smooth release around the arc. Last season, Korkmaz shot 48.8 percent from long range at the Basketball Champions League, where he was named the Best Young Player. 

Korkmaz traveled with the Sixers on their recent road stretch to continue his rehab. After spending so much time back at the training complex in Camden, New Jersey, Korkmaz was eager to make the trip. 

“I miss everybody,” Korkmaz said. “I miss the trips also because as a player we are used to doing all the trips.”

Oftentimes players work on different areas of their games when they are limited by injuries. In the case of Korkmaz, Brett Brown hopes Korkmaz’s familiarization with the league and learning how he runs the team is enhanced during this time. Being with the Sixers for an extended period of time on the road can help that. 

“With any young guys, and especially foreign players, the NBA verbiage is different. My language is different,” Brown said. “The language and the rhythm beat of an NBA season and the rhythm beat of our communication methods and the words associated with that are crucial.” 

Korkmaz said this injury taught him about the recovery process in the NBA. He quickly learned about staying patient throughout it, but he can’t wait to do what he came to Philadelphia to accomplish.  

“I miss playing,” Korkmaz said. “It doesn’t matter when or where. But I want to play.” 

Latest on Joel Embiid and injury-ravaged Sixers


Latest on Joel Embiid and injury-ravaged Sixers

Updated at 5:27 p.m. 

CAMDEN, N.J. — Will Joel Embiid play against the Raptors or won't he? That decision will not be made until closer to tip-off for tonight's game against the Raptors. 

Embiid is probable for the Sixers' home matchup against the streak, 21-8 Raptors because of back tightness. An official decision on his status will be made after he goes through a pregame warmup. He partially went through shootaround Thursday morning and was on the court putting up shots during media availability. Embiid was initially listed as questionable before being upgraded to probable at approximately 5:20 p.m. 

Embiid's teammates said he looked good in shootaround, but they are prepared to wait for him to return if he isn't in full game shape.

"Of course we need him — he's our best player," Dario Saric said. "Of course he can help us a lot for tonight's game, but I think it's important for the team, for the organization to [not] press him to go earlier, to wait for him to be a hundred percent ready."

Robert Covington has dealt with back tightness himself. He suffered a back contusion against the Cavaliers on Nov. 9, missed the next two games, and said he's still experiencing some stiffness.

"It's probable," Covington said of Embiid playing. "You never know how it feels. Right now he felt good this morning, but it has to be continued. You don't want to rush that type of thing. He said he felt good, but it's got to be a continuous thing."

The Sixers do know they will be without JJ Redick. The starting shooting guard will miss Thursday's game because of right hamstring tightness, which caused him to exit early Tuesday night. Redick is doubtful for Saturday's matchup in Toronto. He was putting up shots after shootaround.

Trevor Booker did not go through shootaround because of gastroenteritis and was listed as questionable, but he will play. 

The Raptors come into Philadelphia on a four-game winning streak and winners of nine of 10. The Sixers face challenging obstacles against them if Embiid cannot play.

Joel Embiid out Monday against Bulls; 2 other Sixers sidelined

Joel Embiid out Monday against Bulls; 2 other Sixers sidelined

CAMDEN, N.J. — Joel Embiid does not play both games of a back-to-back, but whether he plays in either of the Sixers' next two matchups will have to be determined.

Embiid is not traveling with the Sixers to Chicago for Monday’s game against the suddenly-streaking Bulls, who have won five straight. The big man usually plays at home in these scenarios, and considering he played 49 minutes in Friday’s triple-overtime loss, the decision was expected.

Embiid’s availability for Tuesday at home against the Kings, though, has not been finalized at this point. This is not surprising either being two days ahead of the game. Embiid, who has been dealing with back tightness, did not participate in practice Sunday. The Sixers will evaluate, monitor, and go through treatment with Embiid before making their call.

“Unsure at this stage,” Brett Brown said Sunday. “I do know he’s categorically out tomorrow and we’re going to learn more about him being available when we come back [for] Sacramento, I’d expect in the next 24 hours.”

The Sixers do know they will be without another two players for some time.

Trevor Booker will miss at least the next two games after suffering spraining his left ankle Friday. The newly acquired reserve will be reevaluated in approximately five-to-seven days.

Even though Booker was traded to the Sixers less than two weeks ago, he already made an impact on the second unit. Brown has seen enough over the last four games to know what the team will be missing.

“His toughness,” Brown said. “He’s got a motor. He plays with such a spirit. He’s a man. He’s a pro. He’s been in the league for a while. He gets it. It’s everything that you miss. It’s really everything this team needs.”

Furkan Korkmaz likely will be sidelined even longer. The rookie suffered a Lisfranc injury on his left foot while playing for the Delaware 87ers on Dec. 15 and is out indefinitely. The Sixers recalled Korkmaz from the G League and he is going through evaluation and testing. There is no timetable set for Korkmaz at this point.  

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons described the injury as, “Lisfranc (midfoot) injuries result if bones in the midfoot are broken or ligaments that support the midfoot are torn. The severity of the injury can vary from simple to complex, involving many joints and bones in the midfoot.”

Korkmaz has been going back and forth between the Sixers and their G League affiliate in Delaware to get playing opportunities as part of his development in his first NBA season.