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Sixers shut down No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz for Summer League with ankle injury

Markelle Fultz drives around Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game on Wednesday. (Rick Bowmer/Associated Press)
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The Philadelphia 76ers aren’t taking any chances with the health of their latest No. 1 draft pick. The team announced Sunday that rookie guard Markelle Fultz will miss the remainder of the NBA Summer League after he suffered a sprained left ankle in Saturday’s game against the Warriors in Las Vegas.

Fultz, who signed his rookie contract earlier in the day, underwent X-rays after rolling his ankle when he landed on Warriors guard Jabari Brown’s heel while going for a block in the third quarter. The Sixers announced that Fultz’s X-rays were negative, and he is expected to return to “normal basketball activities” within the next couple of weeks. The Las Vegas Summer League runs through July 17.

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Fultz, who averaged 20 points per game in two games in the Utah Summer League, had eight points in 15 minutes of Saturday’s game. On Sunday, he tweeted that he’s doing fine.

“I’m glad to be alive right now,” Fultz said, via CSN Philadelphia. “The foot’s not broken, nothing like that so I’m good. I’m walking around.”

Markelle Fultz never forgets

Fultz’s ankle sprain provided a scare to the Sixers, whose multiyear rebuilding project has been slowed by injuries to their first-round draft picks. Center Joel Embiid, the No. 3 overall pick in 2014, missed his first two seasons while recovering from foot surgery and was limited to 31 games last year. Last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Ben Simmons, missed his entire rookie season with a foot injury.

Embiid spoke for Sixers fans everywhere after Fultz went down Saturday with a single tweet: