Toucher and Rich

BOSTON (CBS) — Everyone was surprised last Friday when the Celtics announced that Jared Sullinger was healthy and available to play the rest of the season.

Sullinger suffered a stress fracture in his left foot back in early February, and it was thought the C’s big man was lost for the season. But he’s back in the lineup, in a very limited role, something Mike Gorman didn’t think was a possibility last Thursday.

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“I talked to him the day before and he told me he was all through for the rest of the season,” Gorman told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Wednesday. “When I saw him the next day he just kind of gave me that smile of his and put his arm around me. I don’t know how to read that situation.”

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That just adds further intrigue to the Sullinger’s return, with some speculating this is just Danny Ainge showcasing the forward for a trade over the summer.

“That’s a reasonable argument,” said Gorman. “I think general managers do that stuff all the time; that’s their job, to get as many negotiable chips as they can. A Sullinger who has played the last five games and shown he’s OK is a more negotiable chip than a Sully that went down 20 games ago and never came back.”

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Fred Toucher firmly believes that Sullinger is not in Danny Ainge’s future plans, and he will not be on the team next year. Gorman thinks that is a little too extreme, but says Sullinger will certainly have to change his ways if he wants to remain in Boston.

“I understand why you think that, and I would like to think that would change. But I agree, if he wants to be here long term, he’s going to have to become a different guy,” he said.

As for the present with this team, the Celtics have a big game against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. With only five games remaining in the regular season, the Celtics need a W on Wednesday to keep a hold on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

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“Tonight is the biggest game of the year for the Celtics, because if they win tonight they can afford to lose Friday in Cleveland,” said Gorman. “Depending on how the next two or three days shake out with certain teams, Sunday against Cleveland and Tuesday against Toronto in Boston could be meaningless games for both of those teams and they could rest a lot of people.”

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