Jeff Green, the centerpiece of a controversial trade deadline deal made last February, will miss the entire 2011-2012 season while he recovers from surgery for an aortic aneurysm. The Celtics made an official announcement this morning.
The loss of Green deals the Celtics, who were already entering the season with concerns regarding depth, a major blow. Gone is a player who was a former top-five draft pick as well as a player who was expected to be a key component of a rebuilding movement in Boston as the team tries to transition from the era of " The Big Three" to a younger, more dynamic basketball team.
The good news in this is that the doctors found the problem before something tragic happened. The surgery is not expected to keep Green off the court beyond this season. Green is slated to return from the January 9th surgery and play basketball again.
The Boston Celtics and their fans have a long and tragic history regarding promising young players and heart conditions.
Len Bias, the second overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft, died of a coronary condition brought on by a cocaine overdose before ever playing in an NBA game. Reggie Lewis was the 22nd pick in the 1987 NBA Draft and had established himself as a future star for the Boston Celtics before dying of cardiac arrest on July 27th, 1993 while playing pickup basketball at Brandeis University.
An aortic aneurysm, if left untreated and undetected, can cause the aorta to rupture which can often lead to a sudden death.
Green was going to be a major part of the Boston Celtics rotation and his loss on the court leaves the team scrambling to adjust with just one week until the season's first game against the Knicks on Christmas Day.