Cody Cousino / Photo editor
Former Ohio State big man Jared Sullinger has been medically red-flagged by NBA doctors, according to a report from ESPN.com. Members of Sullinger’s immediate family then began to defend Jared, a potential lottery selection in the NBA Draft, on Twitter.
Doctors who examined the former sophomore forward, according to the report, said they were worried about Sullinger’s back – something that kept him out for two games including a high-profile matchup against Kansas in December.
Sullinger did not immediately respond to an email request for comment from The Lantern.
His father, Satch Sullinger, told ESPN’S Andy Katz that he doesn’t think the issue with his son’s back is serious.
“He had a bulging area that was due to his hamstring and quads being so tight. It pulled on his hip flexor and he’s been taking care of it to loosen it. You can call it a red flag if you want. But it’s tight hamstring and tight quads,” Satch Sullinger told Katz. “He’s been to doctors, he’s doing yoga and deep tissue massage. The flexibility is helping take the pressure off the area.”
The Lantern was unable to contact Satch Sullinger on the matter.
J.J. Sullinger, Jared Sullinger’s older brother and also a former OSU player, came to the defense of his younger sibling on Twitter.
At about noon on Tuesday from his Twitter account, @MrOH1O, J.J. Sullinger said: “Jared’s back is fine!! Anyone “Could” have back problems!”
At approximately the same time Tuesday, Satch Sullinger questioned the sources in the ESPN report in a tweet to J.J. Sullinger from his account, @satchsullinger: “Multiple sources coming from one medical team in Chicago equals hidden agendas. God has his hands all over this.”
According to the ESPN report, several NBA team doctors “have reviewed the information from the NBA and have told their front office staff that Sullinger’s back issues could shorten his NBA career and some have advised their teams not to draft him in the first round.”
Sullinger, who is projected to be a lottery pick in this year’s NBA Draft, has worked out with Golden State, Portland and, most recently, New Orleans. He’s scheduled to work out with Toronto, Cleveland and Detroit within the coming weeks.
A Columbus native out of Northland High School, Sullinger came to OSU as a highly decorated recruit.
During his two-year career at OSU, Sullinger was the 2010-11 Big Ten and National Freshman of the Year and a two-time first-team All-American and All-Big Ten selection.
Sullinger was 64-10 in his career at OSU and finished with 1,281 points and 717 rebounds.