Less than a year ago when he was preparing for the NBA Draft, Jared Sullinger was medically red-flagged due to back problems he was having. Doctors at the time said that while it wouldn’t keep Sullinger from ever playing in the NBA, the problems would significantly alter his career path. The Boston Celtics took a chance on him anyways and are paying that medical price right now.
Sullinger is done for the rest of the season as he will be undergoing surgery to repair damage done to his back.
The loss of Sullinger comes on the heels of the Celtics losing star point guard Rajon Rondo for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Sullinger had just started to work his way into Boston’s starting lineup, and his absence is yet another problem the front office has to solve as the Celtics continue to make a playoff push.
Losing Sullinger isn’t as crippling as Rondo’s loss on it’s own, but in combination, this could end up being fatal to the Celtics hopes to bring one more title to Boston before Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers part ways with the franchise.
Sullinger had been a lottery hopeful in this past April’s draft, but the Ohio State grad dropped all the way to pick No. 21 after he was red-flagged. The hope is that after this surgery and the ensuing time to recover, Sullinger will return to Boston for the 2013-14 season better than ever, but that’s going to be a long and difficult road for the rookie center.