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But although Isaac and Fultz have not suffered setbacks in their rehab regimens, they will not be ready to play when the Magic open their regular season on October 20 in San Antonio, The Athletic has learned from league sources. The Magic are exercising significant caution, taking both players’ prior injury histories into account as the team plots what’s best for Isaac and Fultz in the long term.
Shams Charania: The Orlando Magic have been granted a disabled player exception worth $6.1M for the season-ending loss of Markelle Fultz, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The DPE expires on April 19.
In a prudent move, the team has applied for a $6.1 million disabled player exception in connection with Fultz’s season-ending ACL tear, a league source told The Athletic. The Magic already received a $3.6 million disabled player exception stemming from Isaac’s knee injury.
So why did the Magic apply for a $6.1 million disabled player exception stemming from Fultz’s injury when it currently is unlikely to use the $3.6 million disabled player exception it already has in hand? The Magic applied for both exceptions as a part of their due diligence, just in case those exceptions are needed. The way this season is going in terms of injuries, the team cannot be sure what lies ahead.
Victor Oladipo: Praying for the bro Markelle 🙌🏿🙏🏿
Bobby Marks: Just devastating on Markelle Fultz. If there’s a positive it’s Fultz securing financial security with the rookie extension he signed back in Dec. Expect Orlando to file a Disabled Player Exception worth $6.1M on Fultz. They already have a $3.7M exception on Jonathan Isaac.
Wesley Iwundu: Prayers up @Markelle Fultz. Stay strong brother🙏🏾
Roy Parry: Markelle Fultz has torn the ACL in his left knee and will be out for the season, according to a team official. Awful news for the Magic.
Josh Robbins: Final: Magic 105, Cavaliers 94 Fultz: Left knee injury, 1st quarter Ross: 20 pts., 2 rebs., 2 assts. Vucevic: 16 pts., 7 rebs., 6 assts. Gordon: 15 pts., 8 rebs., 3 assts. Sexton: 21 pts., 3 rebs., 4 assts.
Josh Robbins: The expectation within the Magic is that Markelle Fultz will undergo an MRI on his injured left knee tonight, a source told @The Athletic.
Tim Bontemps: Markelle Fultz went down with a non-contact left knee injury in the first quarter of tonight’s game between the Magic and Cavs. The team has already ruled him out for the remainder of the game.
What the author does not report is that the speculation about Fultz having the yips was not simply idle rumor-mongering, at least not from any legitimate outlets. This was the view of plenty of people within the Sixers organization itself. At one point, Brett Brown was quoted as saying — regretfully, it would turn out — that Fultz’s symptoms were “psychosomatic.”
There were rumors that Fultz had tinkered with his shot, but he maintains that it was the result of an injury. He says he felt like he was wearing a tight suit jacket, or like someone was holding him down so he couldn’t move as fast as he wanted. “It was a lot of pain. It was weird, because it just happened, and it happened over time, and it slowly got worse and worse.”
“I didn’t change my shot,” Fultz says. “I wasn’t able to go through a range of motion. The biggest thing was knowing that I knew what I had to do, but my body wouldn’t let me do it until I had a certain strength, so it was training my mind and my body to put everything back together.”
Markelle Fultz stood in the right corner of the court, in 3-point territory, and caught a pass from a Magic assistant coach. Fultz elevated and hoisted the ball smoothly, without a hitch in his stroke. He backpedaled a few steps as he watched the ball arc toward the basket and swish through the net. In that moment Wednesday afternoon, and with the jump shots that followed in front of a horde of local TV camera crews and news media, Fultz demonstrated that he has made significant progress in his lengthy rehab from a painful condition that adversely impacted his right shoulder.
“Man, I can’t tell you how great it feels to be out there (after) all the trials and tribulations,” Fultz said. “I’m just sticking to living in the now and working hard, so I feel real good. I’m looking forward to training camp.”
Christian Bruey: And now @MarkelleF putting up some shots. 2-for-2 on this video. #Magic
SiriusXM NBA Radio: “We don’t have a timetable for when he’ll be back, but he’s really doing a good job.” @OrlandoMagic HC Steve Clifford gives @TermineRadio and @Jumpshot8 the latest on Markelle Fultz.
The Magic said they had no idea when Markelle Fultz would play for them. Caron Butler – whose agent as a player was Raymond Brothers, who also represents Fultz – offered a more encouraging prognosis. Butler on NBA TV (hat tip: Orlando Magic Podcast): “The guy that no one’s talking about, who’s healthy, who’s working his tale off right now all summer long: Markelle Fultz.”
Michael Gallagher: Clifford says Markelle Fultz is still not ready for 5-on-5. Man.
969 The Game: “He will not play at all in the Summer League.” -John Hammond on Markelle Fultz’s injury situation.
Josh Robbins: I asked Magic president of basketball operations how the rehabilitations of Mo Bamba and Markelle Fultz are going. Weltman’s response: “very well.”
Josh Robbins: Jeff Weltman when asked about Markelle Fultz: “Markelle is in Orlando and he’s working out and he’s committed. He’s two feet in. I won’t drill down on details, but he continues to make progress and he’s here with our coaches, and we’re very excited about where he is right now.”
Ohm Youngmisuk: Dr. Judy Seto is returning to the Lakers according to sources. Seto, who was the Lakers’ former head physical therapist and worked with Kobe Bryant, has been assisting with Markelle Fultz’s recovery.
When Fultz was asked how his rehab work is going, he answered, “It’s going great. I’m feeling really good. I’m happy. I’m blessed. And as I’m going forward, I’m just sticking with the plan and just going through rehab. Later, he added: “I’m just doing rehab and a little bit of stuff on court. But I’m just keeping it pretty basic, just sticking to the rehab part. I am doing a lot of conditioning, a lot of stuff on the court.”
How is Markelle Fultz doing? Jeff Weltman: Markelle is doing very well. He’s in Los Angeles continuing his rehab. We have sent one of our performance staff to be out with him to try to understand what he’s going through from the more scientific perspective, and I have been out there to spend some time with him and watched him work out. It’s just a matter of understanding where he is and supporting him. But I can tell you confidently that he’s making significant progress and he’s feeling like he’s in a very good place. As I’ve been saying, the timetable will dictate itself. We’re not going to superimpose a timetable over what he’s experiencing and what he’s going through. So as it plays out, the next step will be for him to join his team in Orlando and all of us to get our arms around him to continue the good work that he’s been doing in L.A., and we’ll just take it from there.
Markelle Fultz, the former No. 1 overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers who was traded to the Orlando Magic in February to get a fresh start, is not likely to get it this season. Magic coach Steve Clifford said Monday that Fultz probably won’t finish rehabbing his injured shoulder in time to suit up this season. “He’s still rehabbing his shoulder and he’s not even able to really do much on the floor yet,” Clifford told SiriusXM Radio. “It’s a pretty significant shoulder injury. “I would say he’s starting to do a little bit, but it would be very difficult for him to get back this year.”
That sentiment — that the Magic will be patient — seems to be the biggest takeaway Markelle and Ebony Fultz have taken from their interactions with the team so far. “I get a great vibe,” Ebony Fultz said. “It’s very refreshing to hear the positivity, the support that they have for (the players) and the fact that they’re constantly saying, ‘We want to do this the right way.’”
Team officials and Fultz would not, and perhaps could not, provide a timetable for his return. That is not an unusual approach for the Magic to take. Magic executives, Clifford and team spokesmen almost never provide estimates on when they expect injured players to play again.
Few firm details about the timetable of Fultz’s return to on-court action were revealed on Thursday, but the point guard said there’s relief in knowing that the Magic are willing to give him the time and support needed to properly recover from the injury that has sidetracked his career.
“Rehab’s going great. We’re doing stuff the right way,’’ said Fultz, who accompanied on Thursday by his mother, sister and agent, Raymond Brothers. “I have a great group in LA and the (Magic) staff here is going to be coming out to help me with that. But, right now, everything is going perfectly. We’re just worried about doing stuff the right way,’’ he added after being asked about a specific timetable for his return to basketball. “Right now, it’s just about getting to where we’re all on the same page and we’re all doing the right things.’’
He admitted on Thursday that there was a distinct in relief in getting the diagnosis of thoracic outlet syndrome on Dec. 4. “It’s hard to lift up your arm and you lose feeling in your fingers. It’s not like you can tell when it’s going to happen and it’s not like (it happens when) you do the same motion every time. But you get tingling in your fingers, numbness and stuff like that,’’ Fultz said. “It was tough because you hear all the stuff about this, that and the third (with rumors), but you’re trying to figure it out yourself and it’s so hard to describe. If you’ve never been through it, you’re not going to know. But if you talk to anybody who has, they’ll tell you that it changes your life drastically.’’
John Denton: Ebony Fultz, mom of @Orlando Magic PG Markelle Fultz, said her son is working with LA-based therapist Judy Seto, who is the former Head Physical Therapist of @Los Angeles Lakers & currently a consultant with @Dodgers. Seto worked closely with Kobe Bryant after his Achilles tear years back.
John Denton: More @Orlando Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman on trading for Markelle Fultz: “We will provide Markelle with the best possible support at his own pace and look forward to his future contributions.”
Tim Bontemps: Brett Brown on Markelle Fultz being back: “It’s great to see him … it’s good to have him back.” Said team needs to assess what kind of basketball shape he’s in, because he’s been away working out away from the team, and says it will take time to sort out how long he’ll need.
Tim Bontemps: Markelle Fultz, who @Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier is back with the team, is sitting on the bench in street clothes. There remains no timetable for his return from rehab for thoracic outlet syndrome.
Jon Johnson: Injury updates: Zhaire Smith still doing individual work. Justin Patton has early February timeline. Still nothing on Markelle Fultz. Brown says he hopes to see him soon, but not in playing capacity.
Keith Pompey: Markelle Fultz is with the #Sixers tonight.
Keith Pompey: #Sixers guard Markelle Fultz will be re-evaluated early next week for his thoracic outlet syndrome condition, according to multiple league sources.
Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz’s agent, Raymond Brothers, told ESPN that his client is progressing well in rehabilitation on his right shoulder and expects Fultz to return to the team this season. “We want to make sure he’s 100 percent and healthy when he does come back,” Brothers told ESPN on Tuesday.
Brothers said there’s no timetable on a return for Fultz, other than he expects him to return during the regular season. Fultz rejoined the 76ers for their Christmas Day game in Boston on Tuesday and will soon return to Los Angeles where he’s been working under the supervision of doctors and trainers since leaving the team three weeks ago.
Tim Bontemps: Brett Brown says he doesn’t know about Markelle Fultz’s status moving forward as it relates to him returning to the court but that it is “fantastic” to have him here.
The Philadelphia 76ers are unsure if Markelle Fultz will play again this season. The 20-year-old Fultz was diagnosed this month with thoracic outlet syndrome and is doing physical therapy in Los Angeles. General manager Elton Brand said Saturday prior to a game against Toronto he has no timetable for Fultz’s return to basketball activities. Brand said it was “to be determined” if Fultz will play again this season. “I can’t say right now,” Brand said
But some close to Fultz believe the problem is more than physical. In interviews, those who know Fultz — current and former teammates, NBA people and Washington-area supporters — describe a life burdened by a number of factors, from a restrictive inner circle to lost allies to outside criticism. Those who have peeked inside this world tell stories of those closest to Fultz going to extreme efforts to keep personal details confidential.
Williams has been more than a coach, knowing Fultz since he was 7 years old via a relationship with the family and treating him like a son or nephew. In the lead-up to the draft, Williams served as Fultz’s representation, connecting him with sponsorships from such brands as Nike, Tissot and JBL. But as things started to derail, Fultz’s mother, Ebony, and Brothers took control of the player’s off-court life. Williams said he backed off to avoid conflict, but he believes the forced separation might have affected Fultz.
Fultz is now a professional on a four-year contract worth $33 million, but close associates said Ebony still goes to great lengths to shield him. During Fultz’s first season in Philadelphia, Ebony had cameras installed inside his New Jersey home, according to several people familiar with the setup who described the indoor surveillance as unusual. The cameras have since been removed. Multiple people said Ebony has asked some who have dealt with Fultz to sign nondisclosure agreements for reasons that are unclear to them. “There’s definitely crazy [expletive] going on with the mom and how involved she is and how overprotective she is,” said a person with a close connection to Fultz. “The best possible situation is if the mom just backs off for a period of time and gives him a chance to breathe.”
“I don’t talk about it. That’s none of my business,” the center said. “I just know that he’s a great person. He comes in every day, does his job and tries to make the team better. He’s a great guy. Everybody around loves him. I love him personally, but that’s his business. I don’t want to get into the whole family thing.”
With the support of the organization and his teammates, Fultz has started rehabilitation in Los Angeles with physical therapist Judy Seto. He is expected to miss at least a month.
But after being traded to G League Canton on Jan. 22, 2014, Uzoh told then-Canton coach Steve Hetzel that he had a physical issue and asked for help. The Canton doctors, however, didn’t find a remedy for Uzoh. Hetzel said in 2014 that Uzoh then “shut down mentally. He went from one of the best players in the league to us playing four on five.” Hetzel once benched Uzoh for not competing during a practice because of the injury, and the team waived him on March 21, 2014. “You can call it frustration, you can call it fear, you can call it whatever,” Uzoh said in 2014. “I was so in the dark. I was hurting not only the team but myself.”
Finally, in September 2014, Uzoh was diagnosed with the syndrome by Dr. Andrew Bennett in his hometown of San Antonio. After learning how to manage the injury, he said he felt so much better.
Uzoh plans to reach out to Fultz’s representation in hopes that they can meet. He offered some advice through The Undefeated to Fultz, who is rehabbing and was unavailable for comment, although a source said Fultz is familiar with Uzoh’s story. “Listen to his body and take it a day at a time,” Uzoh said. “Therapy and his mental approach are No. 1. Stay away from things that would distract him as far as Instagram, the tweets and things like that. All of those things can negate and throw him off instead of speed him up. He probably has a timeline he has to follow. He has to stay the course in terms of what his people are telling him and with the course of action in place.
After a two-year stretch of confusion, frustration, internet conspiracies, and unpredictability, Markelle Fultz, the Philadelphia 76ers’ 2017 No. 1 draft pick who suddenly couldn’t shoot a basketball, was finally diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). This ailment, often untraceable even by MRI, is the cause of Fultz’s inability to shoot a basketball properly from any distance, according to agent Raymond Brothers. The Sixers announced on Dec. 4 that Fultz would be out indefinitely, and his next steps included three-to-six weeks of physical therapy, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Philly’s dealt with many fits and stops in this process, so many that I’ve timelined every single way Fultz, his coaches, his teammates, and the team itself has tried to identify what’s wrong. But TOS is a very real, frustrating, and difficult-to-describe ailment. That may explain why it took so long to diagnose.
I spoke with Dr. Jacques Hacquebord, a peripheral nerve surgery specialist and assistant professor in Orthopaedic and Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone Health, to understand how TOS is discovered, why the disorder can be mentally straining on patients, why Fultz was able to do everything on the court but shoot, and why surgery for TOS is dangerous.
SB NATION: What is thoracic outlet syndrome? JACQUES HACQUEBORD: You have all these nerves that come out of your cervical spine. After those surgical nerve roots leave the spine, they form this web of nerves that flow in and out together. It’s a very complex region of nerves called the brachial plexus. On one end, you have these nerves that come out of the spine. At the other end, you have the nerves that go down into your arm, and they go to specific muscles. Between the nerves that leave the spine, and nerves that go into specific muscles and provide sensation, that whole region is called the brachial plexus, where the nerves are flowing in and out together. What thoracic outlet really means, it’s where the nerves are leaving the thorax. In that outlet out of the thorax, there’s compression.
SB: Why did it take so long for Fultz to be diagnosed with TOS? JH: The diagnosis for it is notoriously difficult, and for many, you can’t find a focal area of compression because the MRI imaging or ultrasound imaging is inadequate. Or, maybe because there isn’t a focal area of compression that can be found because it doesn’t anatomically exist. TOS involves the brachial plexus, but it’s an undefined diagnosis. In reality, the region where those nerves could be potentially compressed or irritated is a large region. Most of the time, [TOS] is a diagnosis by exclusion, which means you’ve ruled everything else out, so then you fall onto thoracic outlet as a possible scenario. Patients start with vague symptoms that start with a relatively minor event or possibly no event at all. This is a vague pain, vague weakness, vague dysfunction. Thoracic outlet syndrome is often a difficult diagnosis to make because it’s difficult to find a specific spot where the problem is. Sometimes people have an accessory rib, or an extra rib that comes off pretty high, and that rib can be compressing on the brachial plexus. Or, they could have really large muscles that surround the brachial plexus.
Howard Eskin: This Markelle Fultz situation the way it’s been handled by agent/attorney Raymond Brothers has the #Sixers very angry. Agent never told Sixers. Went right to #ESPN. Sources also told me diagnosis TOS is not injury, it’s a condition, if that’s really condition. Not nerve damage.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Fultz’s attorney and agent, Raymond Brothers, has strong confidence that this diagnosis and rehab will address Fultz’s shooting issues. Sixers officials are certainly hoping his optimism is warranted.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Fultz’s rehab program will begin away from the Sixers in Los Angeles, Brothers told ESPN.
Sarah Todd: Out indefinitely is the official language that the #Sixers are using, multiple sources saying that this is not expected to be a season-ending thing for Fultz and that his return will depend on comfort level and symptoms subsiding, six weeks is a rough estimation
Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz is expected to miss an approximate range of three to six weeks to undergo rehabilitation on his right shoulder, league sources told ESPN on Tuesday. Fultz, the No 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, has been diagnosed with Throracic Outlet Syndrome, his attorney/agent Raymond Brothers and the 76ers said Tuesday.
Jon Johnson: Per source, despite what has been reported by some, Markelle Fultz does not have any nerve damage.
Shams Charania: Markelle Fultz has traveled comprehensively for specialist visits and trips in past two weeks, from Philadelphia to New York to St. Louis and back, from home in Maryland to Los Angeles. Bottom line in whatever outcome: The former No. 1 pick needs to get right in body and mind.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Sixers are calling Fultz out “indefinitely” but there’s optimism that he can return within an approximate range of three to six weeks, league sources tell ESPN. Timetable will depend upon success of rehab to ease symptoms and pain tolerance.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Agent Raymond Brothers: “Markelle (Fultz) has been diagnosed with Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, (TOS), a physical injury. TOS affects nerves between the neck and shoulder resulting in abnormal functional movement and range of motion, thus severely limiting Markelle’s ability to shoot a basketball. TOS is treatable by physical therapy.”
Shams Charania: Sources: 76ers‘ Markelle Fultz will be out indefinitely with thoracic outlet syndrome, starting physical therapy immediately. Likely weeks.
Jessica Camerato: Sixers medical update on Markelle Fultz:
Jessica Camerato: “I was w Markelle yesterday. We had a fantastic day at the facility. I thought he looked great, his spirit, in his face, he looked great. I, we, look forward to just getting him back in here & getting him w his teammates & continuing to try to help move him forward.”-Brett Brown
Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz will continue to see medical specialists about his right shoulder into next week, continuing a search for solutions that has included several rounds of examinations in recent days, league sources told ESPN.
Fultz’s Sixers teammates are increasingly concerned about his overall well-being, beyond his struggles on the court, league sources told ESPN. The organization has expressed its support as Fultz completes his consultations in the coming days.
Kyle Neubeck: Markelle Fultz will continue to be around the team when schedule doesn’t conflict, but will (obviously) still not be practicing with the team as he visits with specialists next week, I’m told.
Jon Johnson: Nothing new to report on Markelle Fultz. Yet.
The day that Brothers put Fultz on the shelf, I got two text messages from two different Sixers sources asking what I knew about Fultz possibly hurting himself in an ATV accident—a variation on a motorcycle-injury rumor that was already swatted down by Brothers (and, via a team source to PhillyVoice.com, the Sixers) earlier in November. While I was recently in Philly, a different team source said Fultz’s issues were “definitely the yips”—which was refuted not 15 minutes later by someone close to Fultz, who told me he’s hurt and suggested that his thumb was bothering him. (I was directed to the “It slipped” free-throw hitch for proof of the thumb theory.)
Examinations of Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz’s right shoulder will extend through Wednesday in New York and no decision on his next steps is expected until later in the week, league sources told ESPN. Fultz’s agent and attorney, Raymond Brothers, informed the Sixers that Fultz would seek further opinions on his shoulder before a return to the court — a decision that the organization has left to Fultz and his representatives.
In recent weeks, the Sixers stopped listening to trade overtures on McConnell, sources said, a reflection of the fact that the organization knows it’ll be leaning more heavily on McConnell now. McConnell can be a free agent this summer. The Sixers continue to expect that Fultz will return to the team and reclaim a role off the bench, sources said.
Keith Pompey: #Markelle Fultz will be examined multiple specialists in the early part of this week. The team will have an update later in the week.
In addition to a previously diagnosed right shoulder injury that continues to impact him, Fultz has been playing with an apparent injury in his right wrist area that has adversely affected his ability to shoot, league sources told The Athletic. The potential issue has led to periodic difficulties holding on to the ball during his shot. Specialists have been working with Fultz to figure out how they can strengthen the wrist area to remedy the injury.
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October 27, 2021 | 2:05 am EDT Update
Ohm Youngmisuk: Michael Malone isn’t sure yet if Nikola Jokic will need any extra testing on his knee. He said that he decided to keep Jokic out at halftime when Jokic told him his knee felt a little weak. Malone said there was no sense in risking Jokic, especially on second of back-to-back.
One source with knowledge of the situation maintained Mitchell had no involvement in Wade purchasing a stake in the team. In any case, it’s a move many league observers have viewed as a direct attempt by Smith to appease Mitchell, who first formed a strong connection with Wade through their representation at Creative Artists Agency. “It’s a little bit of new-owner syndrome, too,” said an assistant general manager. “You come in, and you’re immediately told, ‘The star player, you want them to like you.'”
There’s a player option in the fifth year of Mitchell’s $163 million contract, which still wouldn’t let the All-Star reach free agency until 2025 at the earliest. And despite the superstar trade request seemingly more en vogue than ever, the Jazz appear to be doing just fine building around Mitchell in Utah. Around the NBA, he’s known as a team-oriented and affable leader, believing this group can compete for a championship. Utah did finish top-five in both offensive and defensive efficiency last season.
There does not appear to be any connection between Mitchell’s interests and the ouster of former president Dennis Lindsey. That decision stemmed largely, sources confirmed to B/R, from a rift between the executive and Snyder in which Smith sided with his head coach. Jazz staffers point specifically to Lindsey selecting Udoka Azubuike in the first round of the 2020 draft, as well as other draft additions that failed to make an NBA impact as a main stimulant in the turmoil between the president and Snyder.
As other teams like the Nets spent training camp in destinations like San Diego, Mitchell was vocal about the Jazz conducting training camp out of market, sources said, which led to Utah holding workouts in Las Vegas. The Jazz bunkered down in the Wynn hotel, creating an environment Snyder’s coaching staff valued, similar to the Orlando bubble experience.