Updated 2:49 p.m.
LAS VEGAS -- The Sixers are prepared to move forward in summer league if Markelle Fultz cannot play. After all, they aren’t strangers to injured rookies.
Fultz suffered a left ankle sprain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 95-93 win over the Warriors (see Instant Replay). He stepped on the back of Jabari Brown’s foot as he attempted to chase down a block and had to be helped off the court by his teammates without putting pressure on his foot.
Fultz's X-rays came back negative, revealing a lateral ankle sprain (see story). The No. 1 overall pick will miss the remainder of the summer league and is facing a 1-2 week recovery.
Seeing Fultz grabbing his ankle on the court was a visual reminder of the long list of injuries endured by Sixers before even playing an NBA game. Even the slightest wince or hobble is jarring for many to see at this point.
Nerlens Noel sat out his rookie season because of an ACL injury. Joel Embiid missed two years because of foot surgeries. Just last October, Ben Simmons was hit by a season-ending Jones fracture in his right foot.
“Any sport you play in in a competitive atmosphere and you’re athletic and moving around, that’s just the challenge,” assistant coach Lloyd Pierce said. “It’s easy to put that on the history of what we’ve gone through, but no, it’s just part of the game. It’s part of the sport.”
Fultz began receiving treatment Saturday night (he was not available to speak to media because of this). Pierce said this will be a lesson for Fultz to learn about taking care of his body to recover from an injury.
The Sixers plan to go with Larry Drew II more often without Fultz and Timothe Luwawu Cabarrot. Luwawu-Cabarrot also left Saturday's game with an upper lip laceration that required stitches. Drew II hit the go-ahead basket in their victory. Aaron Harrison also drew praise from Pierce for scoring 13 points in as many minutes off the bench.
“Next guy up,” Pierce said. “We’ve got a lot of bodies and a lot of guys that did not play tonight will get their opportunity at some point during the week.”