Agent: Markelle Fultz Dealing with Nerve Issue in Shoulder and Neck Area

You may recall a few weeks ago we wrote about a Markelle Fultz conspiracy theory that was making the rounds on social media.

This theory posited that Markelle was dealing with nerve damage in the shoulder and neck area, resulting in the hindrance of his ability to shoot a basketball.

He’s been out of the lineup for more than a week now, seeing specialists at the direction of his agent, Raymond Brothers. This evening, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski shared information from Brothers regarding the results of those consultations.

Woj:

As I’ve mentioned before, the Sixers have said that Markelle Fultz is not injured and that there is no lingering issue from the scapular muscular imbalance that kept him out of action for much of last year.

The last discussion we had with both Brett Brown and Markelle regarding this situation dates back to November 6th, when the topic came up in regard to the deleted Drew Hanlen tweet which suggested that the Sixers’ second-year guard was “still not healthy.”

Said Brown on 11/6:

“You know, I think nobody is ever 100% healthy. To the best of my knowledge he’s healthy enough to go do what he’s doing. I only (recently) learned about the, what was it.. what do we call it? The tweet.. (Markelle) will speak for himself, but he’s been playing basketball and doing well. He’s fine.”

Brown went on to reiterate that there was no “conspiracy theory” surrounding Fultz or his health.

Markelle himself then spoke to the media a few minutes later:

Are you 100% healthy or close to it? 

“For sure. I mean, nobody is ever 100% healthy in this game. You play five games in seven days and you get bumps and bruises. That’s life in the NBA. It’s the stuff you signed up for when you get here. But I’m working every day to get better.”

Brown and general manager Elton Brand then spoke to the media on November 20th, on the same day that it was revealed that Fultz would no longer play until he was finished seeing specialists.

Said Brand on 11/20:

“We thought it was the regular bumps and bruises, going to China, having the most back-to-backs in the league and playing an aggressive schedule. You ask (Markelle), he says publicly on the record – we didn’t push him or say, ‘you have to say this’ – he said he feels good. There’s nothing that we saw medically that didn’t allow him to play. He played last night, he played two nights ago. Ever since Jimmy Butler came and he wasn’t starting, I felt like he played pretty well. I was proud of him and the way he bounced back from a lot of things.”

And Brown answered these two questions specifically:

Were there any indications that something was wrong with his shoulder? 

I mean, really, it’s kind of the first real sort of red-flag-type news. I played him 20-something minutes four days ago and I thought he played OK. In fact, I thought he did well. I think he’s having a good year. You know, it’s one of those things last night. The gym was flat. We needed some energy. And I went with TJ. You all know what I know. That’s what he does. It’s an injection. It wasn’t even a result of anything Markelle did. We just needed a jolt and he gave it to us, as none of us would be surprised to see him do. And so this news about his shoulder, it did catch me off guard. But if it’s that real that he needs to go seek further sort of consultation, then we support him. In my eyes, it’s not complicated. Like, that’s what it is and we’ll support him.

To be clear, it was communicated to you from the medical staff that Markelle was 100% healed from his scapular imbalance? There were no lingering issues?

It was my understanding. Yes, it was. We’ve all together gone through this with Markelle and Markelle with us. It was my understanding that it was pointing in the right direction, that it was good. I was playing him. He’s lifting weights. Like, it’s all good. And so this situation has come up and we’ll deal with it.

I’m not sure what else to add beyond the on-record quotes we were given from all parties. Markelle addressed this himself in the past month and did not give any indication that he was dealing with a shoulder issue.

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