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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 CSNNE.com.

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.

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