The Celtics have been able to navigate treacherous waters in two games thus far without Rajon Rondo, but that path may become a bit more difficult Friday night if it comes without the services of Jared Sullinger. The rookie power forward pulled himself out of last night’s win after four minutes with back spasms and did not return to the game. Doc Rivers, as is usual right after the game, had little to add about Sullinger’s condition, but did reveal Sully’s back had bothered the big man a bit lately.
“I know (Trainer) Eddie (Lacerte) said something a week or two ago that it’s been bothering him, and I think this will be what will happen. He’ll have these episodes and we’ve got to get him through it. Hopefully he doesn’t miss games with them, but if he does he does. And then get it right and come back. But I’m not sure if it was before the game or not.”
Sullinger did not take part today in the team’s practice in Waltham and Rivers said Sullinger was “50-50″ to take part in practice tomorrow. Is Doc concerned the back could bother Sullinger for the remainder of the season? (Via Chris Forsberg at ESPNBoston)
”No, I’m not that concerned…I don’t think about it much. Again, probably because I lived it. You never know when [the back will act up]. I think the other day, [Sullinger] told [team trainer] Eddie [Lacerte] it felt better. It’s just backs are temperamental, they do what they want.”
The good news for Boston is that Orlando’s front line will also be shorthanded tomorrow night, as they will be without Glen Davis who broke his foot on a freak play last night against the Knicks.
However, the injury to Sullinger brings the Celtics roster down to 10 healthy players if he can’t go Friday night. Fab Melo is still with the team right now, but likely still isn’t available to play as he recovers from a quad injury. Even if he was able to play, I’m not sure Doc would be comfortable going with him at this point in any game that wasn’t already decided by 30 points.
If Sullinger’s back keeps him sidelined for more than a few days here, I’d look out for Boston to bring in some additional depth via a 10-day contract on the front line, so the C’s have another body to throw out there for practices and in garbage time situations.
For now though, it’s good timing that Brandon Bass has showed some signs of life in the past couple games, since he could be back in the starting five as soon as Friday night.