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Report: Jared Sullinger out for rest of season with back injury

Feb 1, 2013, 3:44 PM EDT

Boston Celtics Jared Sullinger reacts as he loses control of the ball against the Miami Heat in the first half of their NBA basketball game at TD Garden in Boston Reuters

Boston could not really take another punch to the gut, and they just got one.

Rookie and crowd favorite Jared Sullinger is out for the rest of the season with his back injury, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo sports and the NBC Sports Network. He will undergo surgery on his back, confirms A. Sherrod Blakely of

Just this week the Celtics had lost Rajon Rondo for the season with an ACL injury.

On Wednesday Sullinger left the Celtics game against the Kings with back spasms and did not return. He got treatment on Thursday and while he missed shootaround on Friday it was not thought to be this serious.

However, Sullinger fell all the way down to Boston at the No. 21 pick because of medical red flags before the draft about his back. What I heard from teams was not a question of if the back would keep him from playing well at an NBA level but the question was for how long would his body hold up (one scout used Brandon Roy’s situation with his knees as an analogy). Sullinger battled back issues at Ohio State.

Sullinger had played well enough that Doc Rivers had moved him into the starting lineup ahead of Brandon Bass. Sullinger played smart and brought an energy to the lineup Bass lacked.

This is another blow to the depth of the Celtics, which has already not lived up to its promise this season.

  1. lucaslatronico - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    man, thats just sad!

  2. thebigkahuna23 - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    He’s a real solid player and he gives them good minutes. I think he’s gonna drop some pounds while recovering from this injury and comeback as a dynamic combo forward.

    Could we see Fab Melo called up from the d-league?

    • shen90 - Feb 1, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      He is only going to play about 3 seasons. This is why he dropped in draft. His back is effed up and wont ever get better. scout doctors told teams to steer clear of him because his back would prevent him from having a long career.

      • eventhorizon04 - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:29 PM

        Not sure his career has to end early, but you’re right that it’s a really bad omen when a guy red-flagged for back issues pre-draft requires season-ending back surgery as a rookie.

      • 00maltliquor - Feb 2, 2013 at 1:52 AM

        Still, taking Sully at the spot they got him at was well worth the risk, 3 years or 13 years.

    • michaeljordanseviltwin - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:24 PM

      Fab Melo was called up from the D-League the day after Rondo’s injury.

  3. fudgyyy - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:56 PM


  4. pantsfreezone - Feb 1, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    That deal Boston signed with Satan circa 2000 is finally come to fruition. Back to the mediocre 80s with you New England fans!

    • miamatt - Feb 1, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      Uhhh…. believe me when I say I take great joy in watching the hopes of Celtics players and fans get crushed.

      But if you are going to pick an era to “banish” them to, you might want to pick a decade which didn’t feature one of the all-time legendary Celtics dynasties. Not to mention the Patriots made it to to super bowl after the 1985 season.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:08 PM

        Don’t forget about he 1986 Red Sox. I had to turn the TV off a little early, but they were winning 5-3 in Game 6, up 3 games to 2, and there were two outs in the bottom of the 10th with nobody on. Although I didn’t see it, surely they won that World Serie and the entire Red Sox Nation celebrated, right? Right?


      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:12 PM

        All Boston-Fan Ball-Busting aside, this is a really bad story. This kid looked really good. Hope he comes back strong.

      • hojo20 - Feb 2, 2013 at 7:04 PM

        At least the Patriots led the Bears 3-0…….Then the Bears scored the next 46.

    • GT - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:34 PM

      I’d gladly take a return to the 1980s era Celtics – 3 World Championships!

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:04 PM

        I wouldn’t mind a trip back to the 80s either. And not because of basketball.

  5. 00maltliquor - Feb 1, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    When it rains it pours…

  6. doublezero74 - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:09 PM


  7. qpoiu1 - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    *cof cof* rebuilding *cof cof*

  8. spthegr8 - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Yeah it sucks that he is out for the year, along with Rondo.He was playing some good ball. But, does it really matter??? Cuz unless LBJ get’s hit by a BUS!!. They don’t have a SNOWBALLS chance in HELL of beating the Heat in a 7 game series!! & I’m not hating. I’m Just Saying!!!!

    • drago2012 - Feb 2, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      Whhhat you talking about LBJ gets hit by a BUS, you must mean D Rose running over both!!! DAAA BULLLLLLS!!

  9. GT - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    This almost hurst more than losing Rondo…get well and back on the court quickly Jared, can’t imagine how good you could be with a stronger back.

  10. GT - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    This almost hurts more than losing Rondo…get well and back on the court quickly Jared, can’t imagine how good you could be with a stronger back.

  11. jjordannba - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    He actually was the 21st pick not the16th

  12. lionsninersfan - Feb 1, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Hahahaha (Boston sucks)

  13. badintent - Feb 2, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    KARMA. KG takes a dirty NuTT SHOT AT Melo , now this. I thought this rookie was a lot like “Big Baby” and I like Baby’s game.Wish it had been KG and not this kid. Back oeprations are not science, they’re more like art, had 3 friends that had them and the results can be good short term and then go south in a hurry.. Or bad from day 1.

  14. dexteruk - Feb 2, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    sully out is more of a blow to the c’s than rondo in my opinion. celtics have been moving the ball better and getting the bench playing well now rondo is out as he does tend to hog the ball. jeff green was the key to the c’s makin a run at no 18 and now he will have to step and so far he has!! we need to bring in another big tho but trading jet or bruce lee would be an error. k mart is the obvious answer but there must be a reason why nobody wants to touch him. just hope sully comes back next year healthy

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