Markelle Fultz To Visit Shoulder Specialist

46508116_2327814460775658_8327231650324807680_nBy Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly Staff 

On Monday night, Brett Brown decided to give T.J. McConnell the team's backup point guard minutes over Markelle Fultz. After the game, Brown was non-committal about who the backup point man would be. Now, it looks like McConnell will fill that role as Markelle Fultz will visit a shoulder specialist for evaluation.

General manager Elton Brand and head coach Brett Brown addressed the media briefly on Tuesday. Both of them only learned about Fultz's shoulder appointment on Tuesday morning and they seemed surprised to hear the news from Brothers. The appointment is not until Monday.

What makes things even more interesting is that Brothers said Fultz wouldn't be participating in team practices, but that doesn't seem to be the case. 

Markelle, the top pick in the 2017 draft, missed 60+ games last season with shoulder issues and a case of the yips. Over the summer, he worked with skills coach Drew Hanlen to rebuild his shot and things were looking positive for Fultz heading into the season. He's made small progress over the first 19 games of the season, posting averages of 8.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists. That being said, Markelle has still been hesitant to take shots consistently and his free throw routine has raised questions about the health of his shoulder again.

Questions about Markelle Fultz's health have started to come more and more often following the falling out of Fultz and his trainer, Drew Hanlen. Hanlen deleted a tweet that said Fultz was still not fully healthy. Meanwhile, there is a theory that Fultz has been suffering from nerve damage in his shoulder. Crossing Broad chronicled that topic

At this point, you can only hope that there's a clear answer as to what's going on with Fultz unlike last season when everyone was pretty much in the dark about his condition. Obviously, knowing an exact issue would be beneficial for Markelle and the organization. Ideally, the specialist visit gives some sort of clarity so Fultz and the Sixers can move forward, mentally and physically, with a more solidified plan as to how to proceed. 

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