Boston rookie Jared Sullinger, whose back was red-flagged by NBA doctors prior to the draft, underwent back surgery Friday and will miss the rest of the season.
The story was first reported by Yahoo! Sports, and a league source later confirmed the report with FOX Sports Ohio.
Sullinger is a 6-foot-9 forward and was rated a top-10 talent by most scouts following his sophomore season at Ohio State. However, league doctors raised questions about his back prior to the draft, and Sullinger fell to the No. 21 overall selection.
“Surgery was performed by the medical staff at the New England Baptist Hospital, which is under the direction of Celtics team physician, Dr. Brian McKeon,” the Celtics announced in a release. “Sullinger is expected to be ready in time for training camp for the 2013-14 season”
Sullinger averaged 6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game off the bench. But he experienced back pain in the Celtics’ win over Sacramento, leaving the game in the first quarter.
Sullinger led Columbus Northland to a 21-0 season and was ranked the No. 2 prospect coming out of high school in 2010. He was first team All-Big Ten both seasons at Ohio State.
The Celtics also lost All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to a season-ending knee injury earlier this week.