76ers guard Markelle Fultz will be sidelined indefinitely after he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, an injury that affects the muscles between the neck and shoulders, Philadelphia announced on Tuesday.
In a statement released by the club’s vice president of athlete care, Dr. Daniel Medina, Fultz will be sidelined indefinitely and will begin a physical therapy program to correct the injury immediately. Dr. Medina described the injury as one that causes irritation in the thoracic outlet, the region between the lower neck and the upper chest.
Fultz’ agent Raymond Brothers told ESPN the injury was the main cause of the point guard’s poor shooting skills this season.
“TOS affects nerves between the neck and shoulder resulting in abnormal functional movement and range of motion, thus limiting Markelle’s ability to shoot a basketball,” Brothers said.
The No. 1 draft pick in 2017, Fultz has not lived to the hype that surrounded him in his rookie year. He played just 14 games in the 2017-18 season, shooting 40.5% of his field goals and 47.6% of his free throws. For the most part, the 20-year-old was sidelined with a shoulder injury. This season, the 20-year-old hasn’t improved in form. His average hit for field goals is 41.9% and 56.8% for his free throws.
76ers’ GM Unaware of the Condition
Surprisingly, 76ers General Manager Elton Brand said the team was not aware of Fultz’s injury problem.
“There’s nothing we saw medically that didn’t allow him to play,” Brand said. “He played last night. He played two days ago.”