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Jared Sullinger injury: Celtics' rookie to miss season with back ailment

Jared Sullinger's back injury is worst than anyone could have feared. The Celtics' rookie will reportedly have season-ending surgery.

Jared Wickerham

The Boston Celtics received more bad injury news, as rookie big man Jared Sullinger is expected to miss the rest of the season after back surgery, according to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski. The news comes just five days after Rajon Rondo suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Sullinger left Wednesday's game against the Kings in the first quarter and did not return due to back spasms, but the news is still a surprise. Head coach Doc Rivers had told NBA.com Thursday that he's "not that concerned" about Sullinger and his bothersome back.

Sullinger has emerged as a pivotal bench piece after Boston used the 21st overall selection on him in this past draft. He fell because teams were worried about a long-term injury issue with his back, which makes sense given this recent news.

Brandon Bass will likely be the beneficiary of Sullinger's minutes. Jeff Green should also see a boost for a Celtics team that will be fighting an uphill battle to stay in the playoff picture.

Celtics fans are reacting to the news here.