LAS VEGAS -- It’s OK, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Markelle Fultz did.
The 2017 No. 1 pick feels “great” less than 24 hours after suffering a lateral left ankle sprain Saturday night against the Warriors. The recovery time for Fultz’s injury is 1-2 weeks, sidelining him for the remainder of summer league (see story).
“I’m glad to be alive right now,” Fultz said Sunday. “The foot’s not broken, nothing like that so I’m good. I’m walking around.”
Fultz suffered the injury while attempting to chase down Jabari Brown for a block. He stepped on the back of Brown’s foot and didn’t realize he had sprained his ankle until he landed.
“I was so focused on trying to get that block when it first happened I didn’t think or hear anything,” he said. “When I came down, I didn’t look at it. It just hurt so bad.”
Fultz was not surprised it only turned out to be a sprain because of the way he takes care of his body. His treatment includes icing and moving around to prevent stiffness in his ankle.
Fultz was dribbling Sunday after the Sixers' shootaround and even put up a shot. He was in high spirits as he jumped in for Isaiah Briscoe’s interview and grabbed the mic.
“They haven’t said anything to me (about limitations), but of course I want to be smart,” he said.
Fultz may not be able to play but he is still staying involved in the game. He will have a new role in summer league.
“It’s ‘Coach Fultz,’” summer league coach Lloyd Pierce said. “I don’t really know 'Markelle' anymore.”
Fultz will use this time to work on his leadership skills as one of his assignments will be running the floor next season. Pierce wants him to work on his communication from the sidelines.
“I’m going to be on the teammates,” Fultz said. “Seeing stuff, letting them know if somebody’s cutting back door, trying to be there making sure my teammates still feel like I’m still on the court.”
Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, who suffered an upper lip laceration on the same play, missed Sunday's game against the Spurs as well.