Jared Sullinger will be back next fall. - Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Celtics rookie Jared Sullinger underwent season-ending surgery on his back two weeks ago, but he's feeling much better now and is confident he'll be able to play in the fall of 2013.
Addressing the media for the first time since back surgery cut his rookie season short on Feb. 1, Celtics forward Jared Sullinger said he has recovered nicely over the last two weeks.
"I'm feeling a lot better," Sullinger said before tonight's game against Chicago. "No pain. Just taking it slow."
Sullinger explained that his back had been a concern since college -- the former Ohio State Buckeye first encountered the injury during a November 2011 game against Duke. He said the back hadn't been bothering him recently, but he always knew the pain might resurface later on.
"I didn't think it was going to come this fast," he said. "Maybe two or three years down the line. But that's what the NBA season does to you. It's a long season, and you're going to have knick-knack injuries. My knick-knack injury led to surgery. I'd rather have it now than later. It was a relief to get it over with."
Sullinger said he suffered excruciating pain the morning after his final game, a Jan. 30 win over Sacramento, to the point where he could hardly walk. He's feeling much better two weeks later, but he's still not doing much in the way of physical activity.
"I can sit at a 120-degree angle in a reclining chair, that's about it," he said. "It's been really different. I actually haven't done anything besides Twitter and playing video games. Catching up on movies, too. That's about it."
The good news, though? Sullinger definitely feels ready to return for the start of the 2013-14 season, and the prospects for his long-term health are all good.
"No long-term limitations," he said. "I should be good for the rest of my life."