Markelle Fultz‘s agent, Raymond Brothers, told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN the guard had been diagnosed with “Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, (TOS), a physical injury.”
Then, the 76ers released a statement that passively acknowledged TOS “was identified.”
Meanwhile, Brothers was claiming vindication over anyone who said Fultz had the yips – including, undoubtedly, people within the 76ers organization.
Brothers, via Wojnarowski of ESPN:
“People were saying it was a mental problem and it is not,” Brothers told ESPN on Tuesday night. “There’s no way you’re the No. 1 pick in the world and all of a sudden you aren’t able to consistently raise your arms to shoot a basketball. Something is physically wrong. Now we have the answer to that problem.”
Apparently, none of this went over well with the 76ers.
Howard Eskin of 94WIP:
Zach Lowe on ESPN:
How it was described to me by sources close to the situation are two things.
Number one, the diagnosis was described to me as a diagnosis of exclusion. By which they meant, if all these doctors – and he’s seen like 15 by now – find nothing structurally to explain why he’s in pain, then this is sort of the default, this must be what it is.
And number two, they’ve kind of pushed back on the term “nerve damage.” The Sixers are saying there is no nerve damage. There may be some issues going on, but they’re pushing back against that terminology.
Fultz and the 76ers have appeared to be on different pages for a while. Philadelphia reportedly doesn’t consider Fultz in its long-term plans, and he reportedly wants to be traded.
This TOS diagnosis evidently didn’t unite both sides.
Wojnarowski reported Fultz will miss 3-6 weeks for rehabilitation, which he’ll do in Los Angeles. I’d be surprised if Fultz returns that quickly, let alone if he returns that quickly with his shot fixed. I’m just unconvinced all of Fultz’s issues have been identified and are being addressed.
But at least everyone will have time to collect themselves and find common ground. There appears to be too much distrust right now.
Of course, the biggest issue is Fultz shooting well again. If he doesn’t, the rest won’t really matter.