Dr. M.: Green's a lucky guy


Dr. M.: Green's a lucky guy

By Dr. Neil Minkoff
Special to CSNNE.comJeff Green is a lucky guy.Yes, he's out for the season because he needs surgery for an aortic aneurysm. But he's lucky because a) it was discovered and b) it can be fixed.About 13,000-15,000 people die from aneurysm every year in the United States. Almost none of them know they have a blood vessel waiting to rupture. At least Green does, early enough to repair it.An aneurysm is a weakness in the artery wall that stretches out from the high pressure of the blood flowing through it. Think of a bubble on a bicycle tire. Most aneurysms have no symptoms so the first sign of a problem is when they start to rupture. This can happen in two ways. The first is a straight rupture, where the artery bursts and the blood flows out into the chest or abdomen. The seecond type is called a dissectiob. In a dissection, the wall of the artery splits between layers and the blood flows into the wall itself, widening that tear.Both are incredibly dangerous and a rupturing or dissecting aneurysm requires emergency surgery. The outcome tends to be dicey, as well.An aneurysm can happen anywhere there is a blood vessel. Aneurysm in the vessels in the brain can cause a form of stroke.The most common aneurysms, like Green's, involve the aorta, which is the biggest artery in the body. The aorta takes blood from the heart through the chest and abdomen before splitting in two to go to the legs. An aneurysm can occur in either the section that goes through the chest (called a thoracic aneurysm) or the abdomen (called an abdominal aortic aneurysm or AAA). If the aneurysm is high enough on the aorta, it can interfere with the blood flowing out of the heart, leading to a leaky valve.The best outcomes for aortic aneurysms are the ones that are found by accident, like this one. This has gotten more common over the years, as more and more people get X-rays, CT scans and MRIs. The great advantage is that the patient can get a full work-up and have planned surgery before the aneurysm is rupturing or dissecting.The surgery depend on the locatiuon of the aneurysm, which I don't think is public knowledge. What will happen, though, is that the weak part of the vessel will be reinforced and stabilized. Even though this can now be done without a full, open surgery, I would opt for the full procedure in Green's case. That would provide the best peace of mind for a player who plans to resume full NBA schedule and the contact involved in banging on the floor.

Young understands work isn't done after claiming Celtics final roster spot

Young understands work isn't done after claiming Celtics final roster spot

WALTHAM, Mass. – For so many years the game of basketball came easy – almost too easy – for James Young.

He stood out on a young Kentucky team that played at the highest levels, delivering the kind of performances as an 18-year-old college freshman that catapulted him into the first round of the NBA draft.

To be so young and already having achieved a childhood dream, to be in the NBA, Young was too young to realize how quickly the dream could become a nightmare if he didn't put in the necessary work.

The past couple of weeks have not been easy for Young, aware that the Celtics were torn as to whether they should keep him around this season or waive him.

They choose the former and instead waived his now-ex teammate R.J. Hunter, on Hunter’s 23rd birthday no less.

One of the first acts Young said he planned to do following Monday's practice was to reach out to Hunter, offer words of encouragement to a player he looked upon as a brother, a brother who is in a state of basketball limbo right now which could have easily been the latest chapter in James Young’s basketball narrative.

And that’s why as happy as Young is to still be donning the Green and White, his work towards proving himself to this team, to this franchise is far from done.

You listen to veterans like Jae Crowder, a second-round pick who has come up the hard way in the NBA, they speak of how Young now takes the game more serious.

Even Young acknowledged that he didn’t take the NBA game and the need to work at staying in the league as serious as he should have initially.

“I wasn’t playing as hard (early on),” Young admitted. “I just was satisfied being where I was, being too comfortable. My confidence was down. I have to change that around.”

Crowder, a straight-no-chaser kind of fellow, said as much when I asked him about the changes he has seen in Young.

“He’s taking stuff a little more serious,” Crowder said. “It’s growing up. He came in as a first-round draft pick and was on the borderline of getting cut. I don’t know what else is going to wake you up.”

That’s part of what made this decision so difficult and on some levels, left players with mixed emotions about the decision.

For those of us who followed this team through training camp, there was no question that Young had the better camp.

But the one thing that was never questioned with Hunter, was his work ethic. He made his share of mistakes and missed more shots than a player with a sharpshooter's reputation should, but you never got a sense it had anything to do with him not working as hard as he needed to.

That was among the more notable issues with Young who came into the league as an 18-year-old. That youth probably worked for him as opposed to Hunter who played three years of college basketball and was expected to be seemingly more NBA-ready.

Even though Hunter’s NBA future is on uncertain ground now, he’s too young and too talented to not get at least one more crack with an NBA team.

And by Boston waiving him, he really does become a low-risk, high-reward prospect that an NBA team might want to take a closer look at with their club. 

And Young remains a Celtic, doing all that he can to climb up the pecking order which now has him as the clear-cut 15th man on the roster.

He might see more minutes than rookie Demetrius Jackson and possibly second-year forward Jordan Mickey, but Young’s future with the Boston Celtics is still on relatively thin ice.

“I told him this morning, this might be the first time he’s earned anything in his life,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations.  “He earned this by his play, day-in and day-out. He was given a lot as a young kid with a lot of promise, a lot of potential. We talked about earlier this summer, he had to come out and win a spot with some good competition and he did. He needs to keep doing what he’s doing.”

More than anything else, Young has been consistent in his effort, overall energy and attention to detail. But it remains to be seen if Young has done all that to just secure a roster spot, or has he truly grown up and figured out what has to be done in order to be an NBA player.