The Markelle Fultz saga took another turn Tuesday, as the Sixers announced the former No. 1 overall selection has been diagnosed with neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, or TOS.
“Markelle Fultz has recently completed a thorough series of consultations with specialists across several disciplines,” the team said in a statement. “Thoracic outlet syndrome, which involves compression or irritation in the thoracic outlet [area between lower neck and upper chest], was identified.”
Fultz is out indefinitely and will begin physical therapy immediately, according to the team.
Thoracic outlet syndrome “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,” according to Fultz’s agent, Raymond Brothers, who spoke to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Wojnarowski later reported there is optimism Fultz can return to the court in 3-to-6 weeks.
“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,” Wojnarowski tweeted. “Timetable will depend upon success of rehab to ease symptoms and pain tolerance.”
Adding another twist in this tale, WIP/FOX29’s Howard Eskin reported Tuesday night that Brothers’ actions regarding the parsing of information have angered the organization.
“This Markelle Fultz situation the way it’s been handled by agent/attorney Raymond Brothers has the #Sixers very angry,” Eskin tweeted. “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”
Eskin also added the team has been treating Fultz appropriately for TOS without calling it that.
Fultz has appeared in 19 games this season and is averaging 8.2 points, three assists and three rebounds, while shooting 41 percent from the floor.