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Danny Ainge and the Celtics drafted Sullinger with eyes wide open about his back. It was worth the risk.
This news is a day or two old, but I didn't have the stomach to talk about rumors this morning. I am actually pretty encouraged by the news coming from Sullinger's agent (though admittedly it is usually going to have a positive spin coming from his agent, but still...).
Apparently the Celtics went into this whole situation with eyes wide open. That makes sense, after all. He slipped in the draft for good reason and the Celtics were going high risk, high reward at that spot in the draft. Especially when they had an additional pick immediately after.
"The Celtics knew when they drafted him there was a certain level of risk that required surgery, as did several other teams," said Falk. "Some teams treated it like he was going to have a heart attack or something. [The Celtics’] Brian McKeon is one of the most confident team doctors I’ve ever dealt with. There were no secrets, nobody was trying to hide any facts. There was a possibility that he could require surgery, but the recovery time is less than an ACL."
So it sounds like Sullinger will be available by around training camp next year. In fact, according to one doctor, he might be much better off now.
"If it's a straightforward disc, which is what it sounds like from the reports, then yeah, it could make him feel much more comfortable out there and he may have no further issues in the future," Rockett told Gary Tanguay on 'Sports Sunday'. When asked by Tanguay if Sullinger's weight could hamper his rehab, Rockett said: "Any time you do a disc surgery there is a risk of degeneration in the future, many years in the future. [Add into that] a few extra pounds and that can lead to degenerative changes, which are sort of arthritic changes. But hopefully we won't be seeing those for a long time to come.'
So like any injury, there's a risk of further injury in the future. But he's got the best trainers that money can buy that will keep him in shape and watch his condition. It helps too, that he's a bright young lad that will most assuredly take the right steps to get himself right. Especially since he'll be working towards his first non-rookie contract.
It hurts to lose Jared this year, but I'm sure they made the wise and correct choice to have the surgery rather than risk a larger injury. I'm encourage to hear that the procedure could very well make him less likely to have issues in the future. Based on a little over half a season, I'd say that future is still looking pretty bright.