BOSTON The regular season won't start for the Boston Celtics until Christmas Day, and the C's are already on to Plan B.
Celtics forward Jeff Green will undergo cardiac surgery on Jan. 9 which will sideline him for the entire 2011-2012 season.
"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," Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a release. "The entire Celtics family supports Jeff during this difficult time in his career."
Green's heart issues first came to light during a routine team physical on Dec. 9. At that time, an aortic aneurysm was detected.
Upon those findings, several follow-up tests were performed. And on Friday, a team of cardiac specialists were consulted.
From there, surgery was recommended which, according to team officials, should "completely repair" Green's condition which would allow him to, "resume his NBA career next season."
Because Green failed the physical, the one-year, 9 million contract he signed with the Celtics earlier this month is voided. And the team will miss him this year.
"He brings a lot of intangibles," captain Paul Pierce said in a recent interview with CSNNE.com. "Just watching him at Rondo's charity game (last month at Harvard). It looks like he's gotten a lot more explosive, got a lot more confidence. He could be like a utility guy; he can play so many positions, like a glue guy and really be effective."
Little did Pierce know - or any of us for that matter - that the play of Green that day, would be the last time most of us will see him in action for at least another year.
Aware that this was a possibility, a number of players close to Green could sense that he was preparing himself to deal with the inevitable reality of not being able to play this season.
"He's down now," Pierce said prior to the team indicating Green would be lost for the entire season. "I had a chance to sit down with him in his locker the other day, and just tell him to keep his head up, regardless of what's happening, and just try to stay positive."