Jared Sullinger cleared for basketball activity, according to report

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics forward is close to returning from back surgery.

Boston Celtics power forward Jared Sullinger said he has been cleared for full basketball activities, according to the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn. Sullinger missed a large chunk of his rookie season last year after undergoing back surgery.

Before Sullinger went down, he was rapidly becoming a fan favorite for showing the rebounding acuity and feel around the basket that made him a dominant presence in his two seasons at Ohio State. He averaged 6 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game in 45 games before suffering the injury.

More: Celtics Blog

Of course, back problems were why Sullinger dropped to the No. 21 pick in the 2012 draft in the first place. He'll be relied upon even more this season early on without Kevin Garnett taking most of the minutes on the front line. He'll be part of a big man rotation with Kris Humphries, this year's first-round pick Kelly Olynyk and Brandon Bass. Don't be surprised to see Sullinger pull some minutes at center, considering the Celtics have no one who fits the bill of a traditional 5.

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