Sixers’ guard, 2017 first overall pick returns to lineup after missing 68 games with injury
PHILADELPHIA– The Philadelphia 76ers received an unexpected boost to the lineup on Monday night.
2017 first overall pick G Markelle Fultz returned to the lineup Monday after missing 68 games with a shoulder issue and speculated anxiety issues.
Coach Brett Brown announced the move just two hours before the Sixers’ home game against the Denver Nuggets.
Fultz’s teammates were enthused about the move, with All-Star C Joel Embiid posting this tweet before tip off:
Fultz, 19, playing for the first time since October 23, 2017, scored 10 points and dished out 8 assists. He entered the game to a standing ovation with just under three minutes left in the first quarter:
Overall, Fultz played only 14 minutes as the backup to G/F Ben Simmons, but they were productive as he helped the team secure a 123-104 win, bringing the team’s winning streak to seven.
Fultz’s return brings an end to a strange saga, in which Fultz was ruled out with “scapular imbalance” in his shoulder, and speculation that attempting to change his shot form caused him injury.
Upon his return Monday, it was also speculated that Fultz was dealing with anxiety issues.
Fultz offered no response to two questions about his shoulder injury on Monday, simply staring at reporters and remaining silent:
It will be interesting to see how the Sixers integrate Fultz into their rotation, with only 9 games remaining in the regular season before the playoffs.