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Celtics’ Jeff Green to miss entire season after heart surgery

Dec 17, 2011, 11:43 AM EDT

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Five Getty Images

We thought things didn’t sound good, and they are not for the Celtics.

Jeff Green — expected to be Boston’s sixth man — will miss the entire season after surgery to fix an aortic aneurysm, the Celtics announced on Saturday.

The important thing is that Green is expected to make a full recovery. This can be controlled with medication after the surgery. He should return to the NBA next season.

However, his one-year, $9 million free agent contract for this year will be voided because he did not pass his physical. The Celtics will retain his rights as a restricted free agent going forward (and he is expected to still be around the team).

“While we are saddened that Jeff will not be able to play this season, the most important thing is his health, and we were fortunate to have access to an amazing team of specialists to evaluate Jeff’s case,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge in a released statement. “The entire Celtics family supports Jeff during this difficult time in his career.”

Green, 25, had this issues show up on a standard pre-season stress test, the Celtics said. They ran him through a number of other tests and eventually the doctors came to this course of treatment.

On the court, this leaves the Celtics in a real bind — they needed a big season and real step forward from Green to be considered serious contenders in the East. While the starting five for the Celtics can rival any team in the league, their second unit now is likely Keyon Dooling, Marquis Daniels, Sasha Pavlovic, Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox. In a season with a condensed schedule where the bench will have to play a bigger role that lineup spells trouble.

Expect the Celtics to make a run at James Posey, who is about to hit the free agent market.

Green came to the Celtics in the middle of last season from Oklahoma City as part of the Kendrick Perkins trade.

  1. bleed4philly - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Blessing in disguise for both parties.

    • trbowman - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:19 PM

      U, no. No it is not.

      And of course this comment comes from a Philly fan.

  2. Rish77 - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    Thats too bad, the Celtics were really counting on Jeff Green playing a huge role on the team this season. In an already grim off-season for Boston, things just got a lot worse. I really think they should go hard after Andre Kirilenko before he signs with another team (Nets). He would bring a lot of versatility and leadership to a weak second unit.

    • passerby23 - Dec 17, 2011 at 2:37 PM

      This is a huge blow to both Green and the Celtics. I agree, Kirilenko would be a great pick-up for Boston he might even be an upgrade over Green. If he doesn’t sign, I think Boston’s championship window just closed.

      • Kurt Helin - Dec 18, 2011 at 3:09 AM

        The problem is Boston can only add the veterans minimum. AK47 can get a lot more than that.

  3. stillbleedingblue - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    Hope Green has a quick recovery.

  4. acdc363 - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    Damn poor jeff green hopefully everything turns out okay, as a Celtics fan this is such awful news that perkins trade is gonna haunt us for the rest of time!

  5. brooklynbulls - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    I immediately think back to Reggie Lewis, the 27 year old player who collapsed and died form heart issues with Celts. This IS a blessing in disguise. Green gets the help he needs and hopefully he fully recovers. You wouldnt want something this horrific to happen twice to an organization or ever for any person.

    • brooklynbulls - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:06 PM

      I correct myself, this already happened twice to the Celts if you include Len Bias.

      • 140chrviolation - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:44 PM

        Actually Dennis Johnson died after collapsing during a pickup game. I echo the sentiments of wishing Green a speedy recovery. As much as I hate the Celtics, it’s not the kind of hate that makes me want their players to die.

      • florida727 - Dec 18, 2011 at 9:35 AM

        I disagree. Len Bias died from a drug overdose. Bias was stupid and paid the ultimate price. Green’s condition wasn’t due to anything he chose. His is just plain unfortunate. The good news for Green is that expert medical attention/care makes his return to the NBA very likely, if not outright assured. Good luck, Jeff. You’re a fun player to watch. Hope the Celtics take care of him financially this year even though it won’t be the $9 million he was going to get.

  6. 8man - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    I chided him for not taking his off season preparation seriously in a previous thread. I rescind said accusation and wish him well in his surgery and ensuing recovery. Basketball, afterall, is a game. What he faces is serious stuff.

  7. cup0pizza - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    His heart just wasn’t in it.

    • trbowman - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:20 PM

      I lol’d. I didn’t want to, but I did.

      • 00maltliquor - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:07 AM

        Me too.

  8. starship7 - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    That’s my Georgetown guy. Get well soon Jeff.

  9. tominma - Dec 17, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    Best wishes for a full recovery from Green’s surgery and subsequent treatment. The Celtics have had enough of heart deaths. I had a feeling it was something like this! God Bless!

  10. Kansachusetts - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    Can someone explain to me why this doesn’t give the Celtics an extra $9 million this year., with which they could purchase some sort of center?

  11. salbutara - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    The Perk trade continues to sting. You can’t tell me they couldn’t have ponied up and signed Perk. Time to move on, make one last run, and gear up for 2012-2013. Use that 9 mil wisely Danny. Don’t sleep on Jujuan Johnson, Bass, & Wilcox adding MUCH needed athleticism down low. Go Celtics!

  12. predicatepanda - Dec 17, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    With Krstic playing for rubles & Green on the shelf, the Perk/Robinson trade not looking so great in retrospect. Can’t really blame Ainge considering the circumstances but still.

    • Kansachusetts - Dec 17, 2011 at 7:44 PM

      I can blame Ainge. You can’t replace a strong defensive center with a small forward. Danny Ainge is an idiot.

  13. rajbais - Dec 17, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    Injury-related salary cap exception???

  14. jdmcg57 - Dec 18, 2011 at 8:23 AM

    Although a very serious surgery, it is a surgery that complete recovery can be anticipated. He is otherwise healthy so even his hospital stay can hopefully be brief. It is a blessing that this aneurysm was detected during an examination rather than it bursting in a non-surgical area.
    My brother had one 3 years ago and he was up and around in a couple of weeks.
    Although recovering from surgery anytime can be tough, around Christmas time is even tougher. My family’s prayers are with you!

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