Markelle Fultz is getting closer to resuming game action.
An examination Sunday revealed that the muscle balance in the 76ers rookie’s right shoulder has improved and the soreness is dissipating, the team said in a statement. Fultz was seen by surgeon Ben Kibler at the Shoulder Center of Kentucky in Lexington. Kilber had diagnosed scapular muscle imbalance in Fultz’s first visit there Oct. 29.
Fultz, the first overall pick in June’s NBA draft, will be reevaluated in two to three weeks, meaning he will miss at least the next seven games. He has been sidelined since Oct. 25.
But Fultz now is cleared to start progressing toward full basketball activities in addition to continuing his physical therapy. He had been limited to passing, shooting, and dribbling drills, in which he has looked good and been pain-free.
Asked when Fultz will begin five-on-five scrimmages, Brown said: “I don’t know the exact time frame of that. But the news is good in relation to the improvement of his shoulder. … Look forward to bring him back into the team and playing basketball again.”
What will his initial workload consist of until he participates in five-on-five practices? Brown said that’s up to the team doctors and medical staff: “They’ll map out something so I can better answer that question.”
Fultz’s return to action will be determined by how his shoulder responds to the increased training and practices.
He previously visited two baseball team doctors who specialize in shoulder injuries. All three doctors confirmed there was no structural damage.
Jerryd Bayless participated in practice Sunday and is expected to return from a bruised left wrist Monday night against the Utah Jazz at the Wells Fargo Center.
The reserve combo guard has been sidelined the past six games with the injury. His presence will be a welcome addition to a squad overcome with injuries to the guard and swingman positions. Justin Anderson (shin splints in left leg), Fultz and Nik Stauskas (sprained right ankle) are all sidelined.
Bayless is fifth on the team in scoring at 11.0 points per game.