The Boston Celtics spent the bulk of Wednesday's 99-81 win over Sacramento without one of their best big men.
C's rookie Jared Sullinger left the game after just four minutes in the first quarter with back spasms.
Team officials initially said he would be return, but in the second quarter they announced that he was done for the night.
Sullinger has not had any back issues that kept him out of games or limited him playing-wise, but Wednesday's flare up apparently did not come out of nowhere.
"I know a week or two ago, Eddie (Lacerte, the C's head trainer) said that it's been bothering him," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "He'll have these episodes. We gotta get him through it. Hopefully he doesn't miss games with them. If he does, he does. Get it right, and then he comes back."
An All-American at Ohio State, Sullinger was projected by most as a top-10 pick. However, a number of teams passed on him due to concerns about potential back problems later on in his career.
A player of Sullinger's caliber and pedigree was too good to pass up for the Celtics, who selected him with the No. 21 pick in last June's NBA draft.
Wednesday was Sullinger's fifth start of the season. In the previous four games, the Celtics were 3-1. In addition, the 6-foot-9 forward has the highest plus-minus ratio on the team, of plus-38.
Sullinger leaves Kings game with back spasms
CSN New England | Jan 31