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July 09, 2017

Sixers rookie Markelle Fultz suffers ankle sprain in Vegas summer league opener

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No, this is not a bad dream, or deja vu, or a story from The Onion. And, no, you didn't suddenly become Phil Connors. It's just another day in the life of a Sixers fan.

During Saturday night's game against the Warriors, hours after signing his rookie deal with the Sixers, No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz suffered an ankle injury that will keep him out for the remainder of the Las Vegas Summer League.

According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, Fultz suffered a high ankle sprain, which generally takes longer to heal than a typical sprain. Here's more from ESPN:

"We will treat him accordingly and be as cautious as we can, making sure he is healthy," 76ers summer league coach Lloyd Pierce said. "We will know [more] once we get some treatment on him. I haven't heard anything [more]."

Fultz, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NBA draft, wasn't the only 76ers player injured in Saturday's 95-93 win. Second-year guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot suffered an upper lip laceration and had to be stitched up.

"Can't feel great, a guy going down, actually two players going down on the same play," [Sixers GM Bryan] Colangelo told Shelburne. "Again, based on the initial diagnosis, you rather hear that than something worse."   []

The injury occurred as Fultz, who scored eight points in 15 minutes, attempted to block Warriors rookie Jabari Brown from behind. Fultz appeared to step on Brown's heel and roll his left ankle; he was then carried off the court and taken back to the locker room.

The Sixers went on to win their Vegas opener, 95-93. But that's hardly the story here.

How long the rookie will be sidelined remains to be seen, but here's what the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society has to say about the recovery time when it comes to high ankle sprains:

As mentioned above, the recovery for high ankle sprains can take considerably longer than typical ankle sprains. In fact, it can take six to seven weeks before athletes return to play. In those cases in which a separation of the tibia and fibula or fracture has occurred and surgery is necessary, patients will likely need to be nonweightbearing in a cast followed by a walking boot for about 12 weeks.  []

Fultz has already been ruled out for Sunday's game but there's not yet a timetable for his return. 

And after losing fellow No. 1 pick Ben Simmons to a foot injury last preseason – not to mention Joel Embiid missing the two years before that, and Nerlens Noel missing his rookie season back in 2013 – Sixers fans can only be left thinking one thing... 

Same. Same...

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