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Sixers rookie Markelle Fultz Suffers Ankle Sprain

Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, is expected to miss between 1-2 weeks after suffering an ankle sprain during a Summer League game against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, July 8.

How long will Sixers rookie Markelle Fultz be out with an ankle sprain? Keep reading to find out!

How long will Sixers rookie Markelle Fultz be out with an ankle sprain? Keep reading to find out!

Fultz, according to a press release from the 76ers, recently underwent X-rays, which came back negative and showed that although he had suffered no break, the talented rookie did sustain a lateral ankle sprain.

So what is a lateral ankle sprain?

Ankle sprains are graded on a scale of 1–3 based on their severity:

Grade 1 (Mild): In mild cases, the ligaments are somewhat stretched, resulting in joint stiffness, muscle weakness or tightness with reduced balance and joint awareness.

Grade 2 (Moderate): In moderate cases, there is significant ligament stretching and sometimes partial tearing. It is far more painful than a mild sprain and can make it difficult to walk.

Grade 3 (Severe): In severe cases, the ligament can completely rupture. There is severe swelling, extensive bruising, and immense pain felt with a Grade 3 sprain. In most cases, a patient will need a screw inserted into their ankle to stabilize the area while it heals.

Based on Philadelphia’s initial timetable for Fultz’s recovery, it’s more than likely that the 19-year-old is suffering from a minor Grade 1 sprain.

A Podiatrist’s Opinion on Fultz

At Delray Beach Podiatry, Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, has seen numerous ankle sprains throughout his tenure in medicine and can offer some insight into Fultz’s unfortunate situation based on the information currently available.

At this point, Dr. Goldbaum says, it’s more than likely that Fultz suffered an injury to his anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL). The ligaments on the outside of the ankle, particularly the ATFL, are the most important stabilizers of the ankle joint because of their ability to try and limit you to point your toes and rotate your foot inward.

Lateral ankle sprains such as Fultz’s occur as a result of landing with your ankle in a position that your toes are pointed and your foot is turned in, which in turn over stretches the ATFL.

“That’s the most common ligament that is injured during ankle sprains,” said Dr. Goldbaum, who has offices in Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Boynton Beach, Fla. “They’re really not very thick bands of tissue, which makes them prone to injuries such as this. These types of injuries are usually acute, which means they happen very suddenly.”

As for treatment, R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression and elevation) will play a large role in Fultz’s recovery. Additionally, ultrasound technology, injections, laser therapy and PRP could be used to expedite the recovery process.

So how long before Fultz can return to action?

Well, Dr. Goldbaum is optimistic that if Fultz is, in fact, suffering from merely a Grade 1 sprain, he luckily won’t be out of the lineup for too long.

“He should heal pretty quickly,” Dr. Goldbaum said. “If, however, they decide he will need surgery upon their second evaluation, that changes everything. But, based on the information currently available, it looks as if he’ll be fine.”

Follow Dr. Goldbaum on Twitter @Delray_Podiatry

The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from without seeking professional medical advice. If you live in South Florida and would like a consultation with Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, please see our contact information below:


16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33484



2900 N. Military Trail #210, Boca Raton, FL 33431 (SOUTH BLDG)



8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472




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