Celtics’ Jared Sullinger lost for season after back surgery
Jared Sullinger’s back had been an issue over the past two weeks, which finally caught up with him as he left Wednesday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with back spasms, and did not return as the Boston Celtics cruised to a 99-81 win at TD Garden. The 20-year old Jared Sullinger also missed Friday morning’s shootaround before the Boston Celtics confirmed the rumors of surgery ahead of the Orlando Magic game.
The Boston Celtics said that Jared Sullinger underwent a successful lumbar disc surgery at the New England Baptist Hospital under eth supervision of team physician Dr. Brian McKeon.
Jared Sullinger had only been moved to the Boston Celtics’ starting lineup in recent weeks. He added a much needed energy to the Boston Celtics’ pack of starting five, especially after forward Brandon Bass saw a drop in his production. Jared Sullinger appeared in all 45 games this season, while averaging six points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game.
Prior to the NBA draft, league doctors had red flagged Jrred Sullinger, who also struggled with back issues as an All-American in Ohio State. Subsequently, the once potential lottery pick, Jared Sullinger, dropped in the June drafts and was picked 21st overall by the Boston Celtics. The team was aware of Jared Sullinger’s back problems but still considered him a steal at that point in the drafts.
“We knew this could happen. We knew it a month before the draft that this could happen and at some point it probably would happen," said Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "We were hoping it would be a summer thing, rather than the middle of the season, but it happened now.”
Up until Thursday, the Boston Celtics did not consider Jared Sullinger’s back issues serious enough for a future surgery. Jared Sullinger’s injury is another major hit to the Boston Celtics, who now have only 13 active players on the roster after losing All-Star guard Rajon Rondo to a season-ending ACL in his left knee last Sunday.
“Well, it’s a tough blow, especially coming on the heels of Rajon’s injury,” said Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “I mean, it’s a tough blow. Jared’s been our best rebounder. He’s a complete player, and he’s going to be tough to replace.”
So far, the Boston Celtics claim they’ve made no decisions over filling Jared Sullinger’s open roster spot, with the trade deadline nearing on 21st February.
On the plus side, the Boston Celtics will be expecting Jred Sullinger back in time for the 2013-14 training camp.
“He was playing great and the good news is we know he can play,” said Doc Rivers. “We know he'll be a very good player and, in the long run, this will make him healthier.”
Danny Ainge added that the Boston Celtics were counting on the surgery to likely fix Jared Sullinger’s ailing back more permanently.
"The decision to do surgery with Jared was simply for the long-term benefit of his career," stated Danny Ainge.