Former Buckeye Basketball Player to Undergo Back Surgery
Updated: Friday, February 1 2013, 04:52 PM EST
BOSTON (ESPNBoston.com) -- Boston Celtics rookie forward Jared Sullinger
will require surgery for a back injury and will miss the remainder of
the season, Yahoo! Sports reported on Friday.
Wednesday's game against the Sacramento Kings just four minutes in with
back spasms and did not return. Though he did not practice on Thursday
and missed the team's morning shootaround on Friday, coach Doc Rivers
and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge both initially
downplayed the severity of the injury.
"No, I'm not that
concerned," Rivers said before Thursday's practice. "Could he miss
games? Like I said [Wednesday], here and there he may. But it's not
anything career-threatening or anything like that."
meanwhile, told Boston sports radio station WEEI on Thursday: "Sullinger
is just getting tests done. He didn't practice today. He was still sore
today and [with] back spasms, you just never know. They really are day
to day, and we're hoping that he has a quick recovery and gets back
Sullinger had been enjoying a fine rookie season, emerging
as one of the Celtics' best rebounders and most consistent big men.
Through 45 games, he boasted averages of 6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in
19.8 minutes, while shooting 49.3 percent from the field.
initially pegged as a lottery pick in last June's draft, was medically
red-flagged due to concerns over his back and slid to the Celtics, who
selected him with the 21st overall pick out of Ohio State.
news comes as another crushing blow to the Celtics, who lost All-Star
point guard Rajon Rondo for the season on Sunday when an MRI revealed he
suffered a torn right ACL in last Friday's double-overtime loss to the
Brandon Bass likely will take Sullinger's place in
the starting lineup and should see an increase in minutes. Boston also
recalled its other first-round pick from last June's draft, Fab Melo,
from the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League on Tuesday to
receive treatment on his right quad. But with Sullinger now gone for the
season, Melo could be kept around for depth purposes behind Kevin
Garnett, Bass, Chris Wilcox, and Jason Collins.
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