Woj: Markelle Fultz Expects to Return from Shoulder Injury During 2018-19 Season

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 25, 2018

Philadelphia 76ers' Markelle Fultz in action during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Monday, Oct. 29, 2018, in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 113-92. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

While there still isn't a timeline for Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz to return to the court, he reportedly does expect to play again this season, as Adrian Wojnarowski explained on ESPN:

"His range of motion, there's been improvement with his rehab," Wojnarowski explained. "[Agent] Raymond Brothers and Markelle Fultz expect that he's going to play again this season."

This could be a positive change considering 76ers general manager Elton Brand said Saturday that he "can't say right now" whether Fultz will return in 2018-19, per the Associated Press (via ESPN). 

Brand said there wouldn't be an update on the situation for "a few weeks," although Fultzand his camp clearly have confidence in his ability to get back up to speed.

There had been some disconnect between the player and team over his injury status since entering the league as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft. He was finally diagnosed with neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome in early December, which limited his range of motion and caused struggles shooting the basketball, as Brothers told Wojnarowski.

Fultz has only played 19 games this season, last appearing on Nov. 19, while his shot remained a concern even when on the floor. He went 4-of-14 from three-point range during this stretch, also shooting just 56.8 percent from the free-throw line.

Adding in his 68 missed games during his rookie season and poor shooting when on the floor, it was clear something was off with the talented prospect.

Despite his question marks, the 76ers appear willing to wait for his rehab to conclude before making a decision on his future. Wojnarowski noted the team is fielding trade offers but will likely be patient with the 20-year-old.

The team might also remain conservative about rushing him back this season, although Fultz at least has confidence in himself to return.

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