Boston Celtics' Jeff Green: Aortic Aneurysm Puts Basketball into Perspective

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 17, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  Jeff Green #8 of the Boston Celtics stands on the court during the game with the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on February 26, 2011  in Los Angeles, California.  The Celtics won 99-92.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

There are certain injuries that put sports on the back burner.

During a Dec. 9 physical, doctors found that Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green had an aortic aneurysm.

This is one of those cases.

Forget that Green was the piece swapped for longtime center Kendrick Perkins last season, inspiring outcries about the loss of a true defensive post presence. Forget that Green is next in line to fill Paul Pierce's footsteps. Forget that the Celtics appear to be on the outside looking in on the Eastern Conference chase this season.

None of that matters now.

Dr. Michael Kaplan, a senior medical correspondent for ESPN, stressed that Green's ruptured aorta could have been catastrophic. If it weren't for the good doctors on the Celtics' medical staff, Green's aneurysm could have been life-threatening.

Green is scheduled for surgery on Jan. 9 at the Cleveland Clinic. Kaplan said there are two types of surgeries Green could undergo: a full open-chest procedure, or a less invasive synthetic graft replacement of the dilated segment. Both are serious surgeries.

Said Kaplan, via ESPN, "Regardless of technique, surgery is a major undertaking with long recovery and significant potential complications."

A lot has been made about the fact that Green had just signed a one-year, $9 million deal with the Celtics. That contract will be voided.

But it's not about the signing, or the Celtics' title hopes; it's about Jeff Green.

It's times like these that make us take a step back and realize that there are more important things in life than basketball and sports in general. While the NBA season will soon be underway, Green's health will remain in jeopardy.

Hopefully we can all forget about the NBA lockout, the constant bickering throughout the league and who is better than who on the hardwood.

In the end, life is more important.

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