Jared Sullinger cleared for full contact, expects training camp return

Kevin C. Cox

Sully is back playing basketball. That's a really good thing.

I do love to read good news, especially about one of my favorite remaining Celtics players. Jared Sullinger has been cleared for "full basketball activities."

Jared Sullinger pain free as he returns from back surgery - Sports - The Boston Globe

"It’s a slow process but I’m good, getting back into it," he said more than six months after undergoing surgery Feb. 2 to repair a lumbar disk. "I’ve been ready [for training camp], just give me about two more months to be a little smaller. I’ve been cleared to play. I’ve been cleared to have contact so I will be ready by Sept. 30."

It is understandable that he's a bit out of shape since a back injury will limit your ability to exercise (understatement alert). Sullinger isn't exactly svelte to start with, so he'll be looking to shed some pounds and get into shape for training camp.

The best thing, though, is that he's got time between now and camp to get his wind and drop those pounds. Not that there's a big sense of urgency at this point. He's been taking it slow and careful and he should absolutely continue upon that path. But naturally he had to be feeling the itch to get out there and play again. He says that he's sore after playing but that feeling is slowly going away too.

I'm a sucker for guys that rebound the basketball (which makes me wonder if I'm going to like Kris Humphries more than I expect) and Sullinger has such a high basketball IQ. He's already found some success against the more athletic players in the NBA by carving out space and angles for himself. He has that knack for making buckets where he has no business even getting to the rim. In fact, he kind of reminds me of a power forward version of Paul Pierce.

Can't wait to see him back in action on a full time basis and (hopefully) free from nagging back pain.

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