Markelle Fultz reportedly using virtual reality goggles to help improve shooting stroke

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After playing just four games this season before being sidelined with a shoulder injury, the curious case of Markelle Fultz has taken another turn.

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The 2017 no.1 overall pick hasn’t been given a timeline to return this season and may well sit out in order to rehab both physically and mentally as he looks to return to the form that had teams clamouring for him at the draft.

“There always a chance that he’s going to be out there soon,” Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo told reporters on Saturday AEDT. 

“And there’s a chance that’s he not going to play this year. I can’t answer that question because we don’t know the answer to that.”

Perhaps the most worrying element of his recovery has been the drastic change to his shot mechanics as videos emerged of him at practice with a drastically different looking motion, raising questions about the severity of his injury.

While the Sixers’ current on court success has lessened the pressure for Fultz to rush back, the Sixers appear to be taking drastic measures to help him get his shooting stroke back, utilising virtual reality training.

From Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice

With Fultz, there is a different motivation to get him behind the VR goggles. The Sixers, according to multiple sources, wanted him to be able to visualize the mechanics he’ll use in a game, to remember how easy it once was for him to rise up with the ball and shoot from anywhere on the court, and to be able to do so without the glare of the cameras or other people around him. With pressure coming down on him from all angles, turning part of a teenager’s job into a video game is one way to relieve the stress of the situation.

The 6’4″ point guard, who shot 41.3% from the three-point line during his lone season at Washington has come under an ever-increasing microscope, with teammate JJ Redick describing the coverage of Fultz’s shooting as ‘obsessive’.

With the rookie potentially set to be shut down for the remainder of the season, time away from the spotlight will perhaps give him the best shot at getting his rhythm back.