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Boston Celtics first-year forward Jared Sullinger had back surgery Friday and will miss the rest of the NBA season, the team said.
The Celtics said Sullinger is expected to be ready for the 2013-14 campaign after recovering from the lumbar disc procedure that was performed at a Boston hospital.
In 45 games in what was shaping up as a solid rookie season, Sullinger averaged 6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds.
He had left the Celtics' game against Sacramento on Wednesday with back pain and did not practice on Thursday.
Coach Doc Rivers had downplayed the severity of the injury, saying he thought the player might miss a few games "here and there."
The news was another blow for the Celtics, who revealed Sunday they had lost All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo for the season. Rondo tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in a double-overtime loss to Atlanta a week ago.