Markelle Fultz has spent more than a week seeing specialists about his shoulder — while the Philadelphia organization was caught off guard by this and were skeptical — but all those doctors settled on a diagnosis:
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
That according to a statement from the Philadelphia 76ers (which his agent had told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN before, breaking the story).
What is TOS? From the Mayo Clinic’s description:
Thoracic outlet syndrome is a group of disorders that occur when blood vessels or nerves in the space between your collarbone and your first rib (thoracic outlet) are compressed. This can cause pain in your shoulders and neck and numbness in your fingers. Common causes of thoracic outlet syndrome include… repetitive injuries from job- or sports-related activities.
There has been speculation about just how injured Fultz really is, but the bottom line is only Fultz knows his body. If he is injured — or if he believes he is injured — then this diagnosis and treatment should help him. After he is physically right, the task will be restoring his confidence (and physically making sure this issue does not become chronic).
The Sixers have looked to trade Fultz, but right now the market is very dry (they likely could not get a first-round pick for him, plus a player to balance the salaries). Teams, like fans in Philadelphia and elsewhere, want to know what was wrong physically and how that has impacted him mentally.