The Sixers' most recent first overall pick Markelle Fultz is already being labeled asa bust. But pause for a second.
There is a clear medical explanation for his issues this season — which is why he was sidelined after playing in just four games.
And whether there are other underlying issues — like an inept Sixers medical staff or a mental inability for Fultz to perform in the NBA — there still is this injury that needs to be worked through.
On Sunday, the 76ers released a medical update on 19-year-old Fultz.
"Markelle Fultz was examined and evaluated today by Dr. Ben Kibler, Medical Director of the Shoulder Center of Kentucky at the Lexington Clinic, for the soreness and scapular muscle imbalance that he has been experiencing in his right shoulder," a press release said. " The soreness is dissipating and the muscle balance is improving, and Fultz will continue with physiotherapy and begin progressing toward full basketball activities. Fultz will be re-evaluated in approximately two to three weeks. His return to gameplay will be determined by how the shoulder responds to progressive basketball training and practices in the interim."
What do we know?
Well, it's a shoulder injury (which helps explain his awkward shooting motion) and it's getting better. His return to basketball activities in practice is surely a good sign. But whether he will be able to come back and make an impact this season remains to be seen.
Similar situations with top picks Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid tortured Sixers fans in previous seasons, with the team pushing back the starting line for the return of their star rookie back and back.
However, with how things worked out with Simmons and Embiid perhaps caution is the smart way to go.
Here's hoping the medical staff does the right thing with one of Philly's three most valuable assets.