Now Celtics Lose Sullinger For Season


A very bad week for the Celtics got worse Friday with news that power forward Jared Sullinger will miss the rest of the season with a back injury, ending his rookie campaign after 45 games and the very encouraging showing of 5.9 rebounds in just 19.8 minutes.

That development would be enough of a gut punch five days after Boston learned it would have to finish 2012-13 without All-Star Rajon Rondo because of a torn ligament in his right knee. But losing Sullinger comes with the added implication of the worst fears over his health coming true, creating the big-picture concern that Celtics are only beginning to deal with his back problems.

When the pre-existing condition was red-flagged by teams prior to the draft, the former Ohio State star dropped all the way from being projected for the top 10 early in 2011-12, and possibly the top five, to No. 21 on June 28, 2012. It wasn’t the health scare alone – Sullinger was backsliding for basketball reasons before the injury became known – but it was an obvious concern around the league.

News that he underwent lumbar disc surgery will unfortunately not be a big surprise around front offices. In an interview with Boston radio station WEEI, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge confirmed Sullinger’s current problem is related to the one detected before the draft, saying: “Well, yeah. I think that when he was drafted with the medical reports that we had on his back, I think it would be crazy to think that there would not be some days missed… (head trainer) Eddie Lacerte and (team doctor) Dr. (Brian) McKeon and (strength and conditioning coach) Bryan Doo, they spend a lot of time with Jared each day, stretching and formulating plans to strengthen his core and to strengthen the muscles around his back, because he does have management issues back there. And so I think that this is not a surprise. I guess I would say I’m a little surprised that it’s taken this long. He’s been with us since July 1 and he’s been pain-free and hasn’t missed a day of practice until the game (Wednesday) night when it was just sort of a freak thing. He got a rebound and his back spasmed up.”

That was on Thursday, when the Celtics were dismissing the problem as minor. A day later, they were having to contemplate losing one of the keys to the Rondo-less season and dealing with another major setback while trying to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff pack with a three-game lead over the 76ers for the eighth and final spot heading into Friday’s games. With what free time they had left, the front office, coaching staff, entire roster and hot-dog vendors likely fanned out to determine who suddenly got a Celtics voodoo doll and a large box of pins.

The team called the surgery  “successful” and said Sullinger “is expected to be ready” for training camp. Rondo is on a similar schedule in the return from his knee injury.


  1. Another thing w/ Sully out, of course more trade rumors just have to surface. Like today supposedly clips interested in KG-either way trading KG or Pierce would be absolutely ludicrous! KG is the backbone of Celts defense-KG is the Holy Trinity of Defense Period & Pierce well simply The Truth! I agree Kamote, they both & Rondo are the perfect tutors for the young & new to the Celts guys. Trading KG would put a deep hamper on Celts defense-DON’T DO IT!!!

  2. Great win against clips (an elite team this year) w/o Rondo & Sully today. That’s two W’s against elite w/o Rondo & 1 w/o Sully. That’s what i’m talking about-manin up no matter what when any player goes down & i’m not knocking them but clips don’t have an excuse w/o cp3 cause Rondo out made it even & even lesser for us w/o Sully. Keep it up with the focus Celts.

  3. Wow... says:

    time to bring back fab melo from the d-league

  4. Kamote says:

    Why trade KG and Pierce? Not trading them would benefit Boston in the long run.

    The C’s already have a solid youth foundation in Rondo, Bradley, Green and Jared (I hope he stays healthy). That’s already from PG to PF. If they can continue to grow together, under KG and Pierce’s watch, they would be a solid new core. They can remain competitive for the next two years. May not be enough to win the ring, but would still be that team every team wouldn’t want to face in the first round.

    And after two years, KG and Pierce can decide to either retire or at least get a vet’s minimum if they still want to play. Thats around 25-30M off Celtics’ payroll. They would have the money to retain the new core, and they can lure an upcoming Center (maybe Drummond, Favors, Monroe, or even A. Davis) with the money that they have. They would still be a very tough team even after the big 3 era.


  6. underdog says:

    Celtics should do a 3-team deal with Mavs and Kings

    Celtics gets:
    Cousins(SAC), Garcia(SAC), Carter(DAL), Brooks(SAC)

    Kings gets:
    Kaman(DAL), Beaubois(DAL), Terry(BOS)

    Dallas gets:

    With this trade, the Celtics could build for the future

    with a young core of Rondo, Green, and Cousins. They can

    also continue winning for this season since VC can still

    contribute and can fill up Terry’s role. Cousins would

    greatly help their rebounding woes and move KG to his

    natural position at PF. Scoring without Pierce would not

    be a problem since Cousins can create shots for himself

    and is an able scorer. Aaron Brooks can man the point in

    Rondo’s absence and is an able backup when Rondo returns

    next season. Pierce is traded to the the Mavs as a show of

    respect for all he has done for the Celtics since he would

    be traded to a franchise that could still compete and can

    make a splash in next season’s free agency. Pierce is also

    a great upgrade over VC. Garcia is taken by the Celtics to

    make the salary work. They could choose Salmon’s but

    Garcia is a more logical choice since he can still make

    open 3s at a good enough rate and has just 2yrs remaining

    in his contract compared to Salmon’s 3yrs. Kings improve

    in the sense that they get a veteran in Terry and Kaman

    that could mentor the Kings with so many young players

    with huge potentials such as TRob and Tyreke. Veteran

    leadership is very much needed in a locker room especially

    for this young Kings squad and Terry could very much

    provide that. Cousins is a great loss but a losing Kings

    squad and an organization in disarray(because of the talks

    of moving to Seattle) would not help in taming him so

    trading him is a logical choice.

  7. @ tamanjiri & Gabci-Celts will figure it out w/ who they have. The Truth Pierce, KG & the rest of them play w/ the hearts of Champions! They’ll be all right.

  8. tamanjiri says:


    he means Fab Melo the 1st Round draft pick along with Jared Sullinger..

  9. Gabci says:

    Don’t dihonour the Celtics’s legends. They must keep them. They deserve it.
    They’re Celts for life. They got a ring. They obtained it together. Pride in the bottle.
    The guys will reach the playoffs without any addition. Bring Melo.
    And **** your trade ideas.

    • TheStarMiddleschooler says:

      Explain how we would get melo on celtics? 😀 only way is to trade KG and Pierce and possibly Avery Bradly

  10. tamanjiri says:

    @Dr C.Goode

    trade KG and Pierce? come on dude, these are the guys who led the team to win a championship in 2008.. show some respect dude, let them retire in Celtic uniform.. if it weren’t for Garnett, this Celtic team wouldn’t be a championship caliber team.. one more thing, Garnett is the foundation of Celtic defense, if Garnett would be traded, it’s like saying “let’s forget about banner 18”..

    the Celtics’ current roster have a lot of potential, all they need is for the role players to step up and bring their A game.. we need veteran players when playoff time comes (their experience will be valuable in tough situations), that’s why it’s not a good idea to let KG and Pierce go..

    it’s sad that Rondo and Sullinger is out for the season but don’t worry guys, the Celtics will cause an uproar in the upcoming 2013 Playoffs.. as long as we have KG and Pierce, banner 18 is still within reach..

  11. @Dr C.Goode
    Why would you trade hall of famers for a bunch of players who cant step up and lead the celtics? Your no doctor bro at leats not good one. 🙂

  12. Gillsy says:

    The c’s need to start over the only way Danny would be able to get out of this one if KG is interested in going to OKC it might sound strange but it might be his best chance of getting another ring on a team that needs more big man support than just serge. Trade him for Lamb and the draft pick from the Raptors. It would give the c’ s some trade chips.

  13. Plus this is what UBUNTU is all about!

  14. Damn, Sully’s out just as he’s showing more of his game. Dudes a beast, can’t wait for him to get back already but looks like we’ll have to wait till next season. Well Celts knew it before drafting him so no surprise, but i’m still glad they drafted him cause he plays the right way & he never lets up on the court-great work ethic! He’ll come back stronger get well Sully.
    Now in reply to
    @ dr.c.goode-STICK A FORK IN YOURSELF! Celts are not done, you can write their obituary but mark my words they are not done because they play team basketball where everyone gets involved. Your trade delusions are crazy like your on something. The vets Pierce & KG are necessary to get young guys acclimated into the system. They’re the perfect teachers for them.

  15. Chester says:

    Yep ainge has to get his finger out and trade the oldies while they are still valuabke

  16. Dr C.Goode says:

    Stick a fork in em they’re done, infact they where done the moment Rondo went down. Ainge has to trade Garnett and Pierce for whatever he can get. I suggest Garnett to OKC for Kevin Martins expiring contract and send Pierce to Golden State for Jarrett Jacks expiring contract and A.Biedrins. This trade helps OKC and GSW immediately while giving Boston cap relief.

    • TheStarMiddleschooler says:

      Very good idea… but i dont think OKC would give up Kevin and GSW would give up Jack. Lets trade good players for washed up old players? i like the trade idea but cant get any younger players for them

  17. Chris says:

    Players dropping like flies lately. Still don’t think anyone’s had it as bad as Minnesota this season

  18. rondo says:

    Oh come on. I still believe the celtics could make the playoffs