Amid a report that Markelle Fultz had a cortisone shot in his shoulder, the Sixers are still weighing whether they should sit the rookie to let his shoulder heal.
Raymond Brothers, Fultz's agent, told ESPN on Tuesday that the young guard had fluid drained from the back of his shoulder. The website later revised the report and said Fultz had received a cortisone shot. A league source confirmed that the rookie guard had the shot on Oct. 5.
The sore right shoulder has been a hot topic of conversation for weeks, and the injury has seemed to play a major role in Fultz's shooting woes. Fultz is shooting just 33.3 percent from the field, 50 percent from the foul line, and has still yet to attempt a three-pointer this season.
Two league sources told the Inquirer and Daily News that the guard met Tuesday with a doctor who recommended physical therapy and said that Fultz could continue to play.
In his lone season at the University of Washington, Fultz shot 41.3 percent from beyond the arc. The absence of that part of his game is a major red flag since his shooting ability was one of the reasons the Sixers traded up to get Fultz with the No. 1 overall pick.
Brett Brown was asked about the possibility of sitting Fultz until the shoulder heals, and the Sixers head coach said the medical staff is still trying to figure out what is best.
"They're going through that on their side of the office right now and just trying to come up with a thoughtful plan to deliver Markelle further into the season," Brown said after practice.
Brown added that he isn't sure what is in store for Fultz and that he is, as always, at the mercy of the Sixers medical team.
Whatever the plan is, it needs to be enacted quickly.
Fultz's shooting form has continued to deteriorate and raise alarm. He is pushing the ball from in front of him when he shoots foul shots, the few jump shots he's taken in the first four regular season games have been flat and short for the most part, and he is having trouble finishing around the rim.
"We can't dismiss the fact that there is some concern that he obviously has with his shoulder," Brown said. "We've just got to continue to find ways to get that healthy, and I think that's going to produce confidence."
Brown continues to stress that Fultz is impressive in the open court and that the young guard is gaining confidence. Earlier this month Fultz himself said that he will shoot the three and the mid-range shot if he is open, but that confidence is elusive from an outside perspective.
On multiple occasions through four games, Fultz has been wide open from the three-point line or from mid-range and has hesitated until the opportunity is gone.
The shoulder injury, which has continued to be referred to as right shoulder soreness, is not alarming enough for the Sixers to avoid Fultz in high-contact situations. But, the fact that the medical team is still working to find the best course of action does mean that there is a significant problem.