Jared Sullinger’s injured foot has officially ended his season.
“Following further medical evaluation at the New England Baptist Hospital, it was determined that forward Jared Sullinger has sustained a left metatarsal stress fracture and will be out for the remainder of the 2014-15 regular season,” the team announced Sunday.
The Celtics made a few additions to their roster on Thursday via trade, but they also lost their starting power forward due to injury. The team announced late Thursday night that Sullinger was diagnosed with a left forefoot stress injury, and sent him back to Boston for further testing.
Sullinger told reporters in Sacramento that he suffered the injury during Boston’s final game before the All-Star break. He felt discomfort in his foot during the Feb. 11 matchup against the Hawks, but played through the pain in the team’s win. After returning to practice with the team on Wednesday in Sacramento, Sullinger removed himself from the practice after feeling pain in the foot. X-Rays performed on Thursday confirmed the stress injury.
“He’s not going to play on this trip, and I don’t anticipate him playing any time soon,” head coach Brad Stevens told reporters in Sacramento.
The injury will leave Boston’s frontcourt extremely shorthanded for the time being. Second-year big man Kelly Olynyk practiced for the first time on Thursday after suffering the past 11 games with a sprained ankle. His status is still questionable for Friday’s game against the Kings. It’s unclear if new trade addition – 6-foot-10 Jonas Jerebko – will be with the team in time for Friday’s game either.
If both of those guys are not available, Boston will be down to just three true bigs in their rotation with Tyler Zeller, Brandon Bass, and Shavlik Randolph. Jae Crowder has played some power forward in recent weeks as well, so you can expect that trend to continue.
Sullinger will undergo further testing in Boston before the team releases an injury timetable. It’s fair to assume the power forward’s absence will be counted in weeks, not days, which will be a damaging blow to the team’s playoff hopes.