There's a new twist in the bizarre injury and shooting motion of 76ers star rookie Markelle Fultz

The Philadelphia 76ers are once again dealing with a strange and hazy injury to one of their star rookies, this time to No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz.

Fultz's career has gotten off to a strange start because of a sudden change to his shooting motion. Fultz, an accurate shooter in college, has developed a hitch in his shot where he appears to push the ball out in front of his body.

The change in his shot was attributed to a right shoulder injury. 76ers head coach Brett Brown said during the preseason that he thought the injury was bothering Fultz more than he was admitting.

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Markelle Fultz's college career and NBA rookie season
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Markelle Fultz's college career and NBA rookie season
ARLINGTON, VA - JANUARY 9: DeMatha's Markelle Fultz defends against O'Connell's Akon Adams during the game at Bishop O'Connell High School on Friday, January 9, 2015. DeMatha defeated Bishop O'Connell 54-48. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 1: Markelle Fultz #23 poses for a portrait during Adidas Nations Atlanta on May 1, 2015 at the JW Marriott in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kelly Kline/Getty)
PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 9: Markelle Fultz #7 of the USA Junior Select Team stands on the court against the World Select Team during the game on April 9, 2016 at the MODA Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 11: Washington's #20 Markelle Fultz makes his move to the basket against Nevada. Nevada won 87-85 on a last second basket on December 11, 2016, at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, WA. (Photo by Jesse Beals/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
TUCSON, AZ - JANUARY 29: Markelle Fultz #20 of the Washington Huskies handles the ball during the second half of the college basketball game against the Arizona Wildcats at McKale Center on January 29, 2017 in Tucson, Arizona. The Wildcats defeated the Huskies 77-66. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
TUCSON, AZ - JANUARY 29: Markelle Fultz #20 of the Washington Huskies attempts a free-throw shot during the second half of the college basketball game against the Arizona Wildcats at McKale Center on January 29, 2017 in Tucson, Arizona. The Wildcats defeated the Huskies 77-66. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: Markelle Fultz signs autographs at Champs Sports prior to the draft lottery on May 15, 2017 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Steven Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 16: Draft prospect Markelle Fultz poses poses with draft caps for portraits prior to the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery at the NBA Headquarters in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 22: Markelle Fultz selected number one overall by the Philadelphia 76ers talks with the media at the 2017 NBA Draft on June 22, 2017 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Michael J. Lebrecht II /NBAE via Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - JULY 3: Markelle Fultz #7 of the Philadelphia 76ers warms up against the Boston Celtics on July 3, 2017 at Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
CAMDEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09: Host Christian Crosby interviews Sixers NBA Star player Markelle Fultz during the Julius Erving Youth Basketball Clinic on September 9, 2017 at the Sixers Training Complex in Camden, New Jersey. (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for PGD Global)
CAMDEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25: Markelle Fultz #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers poses for a portrait during the Philadelphia 76ers Media Day on September 25, 2017 at the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex in Camden, New Jersey.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 4: Markelle Fultz #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies during a preseason game on October 4, 2017 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 9: Markelle Fultz #20 and Head Coach Brett Brown of the Philadelphia 76ers talk during a preseason game against the Boston Celtics on October 9, 2017 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 9: Markelle Fultz #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during a preseason game against the Boston Celtics on October 9, 2017 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 20: Markelle Fultz #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles the ball against Jayson Tatum #0 and Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics in the third quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on October 20, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Celtics defeated the 76ers 102-92. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 23: Markelle Fultz #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots the ball as Langston Galloway #9 of the Detroit Pistons defends during the fourth quarter of the NBA game at Little Caesars Arena on October 23, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. Philadelphia 76ers defeated Detroit Pistons 97-86. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 21: Markelle Fultz #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during the first half of an NBA game against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre on October 21, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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On Tuesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Fultz had his shoulder drained before the start of the regular season. Fultz's agent told Wojnarowski that Fultz "literally cannot raise his arms up to shoot." Immediately, the NBA world wondered why the 76ers had not shut down Fultz, who is shooting 33% from the field and 50% from the free throw line, for the start of the season.

However, on Wednesday, a new wrinkle was added to the story when Sixers president Bryan Colangelo suggested that Fultz's shoulder injury occurred while he was trying to change his shot.

The Sixers said on Wednesday that Fultz will sit out the next three games to let his shoulder heal. Colangelo said there was no structural damage to Fultz's shoulder and no indication not to play him at the start of the season.

Fultz shot 47% from the field and 41% from three in college. In the NBA, he has shot poorly and not attempted a shot beyond 14 feet.

Fultz's free throw attempts have been ugly:

And his shots beyond the paint haven't been much prettier:


Colangelo's update only muddies the already-confusing situation. In addition to Fultz being an accurate shooter in college, he also shot well in the Las Vegas Summer League. It's unclear why he would change his shooting motion, and even more unclear how he hurt his shoulder while working on changing his shot.

For the 76ers, this marks a third straight year of confusion over the extent of star players' injuries. Joel Embiid missed the first two seasons of his career over foot injuries and often had an unclear timeline. Last season, Ben Simmons suffered a jones fracture in his foot and had an unclear timeline of returning before the team shut him down for good.

Much of the NBA world was exasperated by the latest twist to Fultz's situation.

The question going forward becomes how long Fultz's shoulder takes to heal and if he can re-gain the shooting form that helped make him the top pick in the draft.

The 76ers' season began with the promise of being competitive, with their long rebuild taking a next step. That remains true, but the situation becomes increasingly more bleak if their No. 1 pick can't play or shoot.

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