Celtics' Jeff Green to Miss Season After Aortic Aneurysm Surgery

A shortened NBA season will be even shorter for Boston Celtics' forward Jeff Green: he will miss the entire season after surgery for an aortic aneurysm.

Jeff Green is 6'9", 235 pounds, and plays both power and small forward. He is 25, and from 2007–2011 he played for Seattle SuperSonics / Oklahoma City Thunder. Because he failed his physical, which is how the ailment came to the attention of physicians, his one-year, $9 million free agent contract for this season will be voided. However, the Boston Celtics will retain his rights as a restricted free agent.

Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge said, in a released statement, “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. The entire Celtics family supports Jeff during this difficult time in his career.”

Jeff Green's heart condition first came to light during a routine pre-season team physical on Dec. 9. At that time, an aortic aneurysm was detected.

An aortic aneurysm is a general medical term used for a swelling or ballooning of the aorta to greater than 1.5 times normal. This situation generally represents an underlying weakness in the aortic wall at that location. Of great concern is the possibility of rupture, which would causes severe pain and massive internal hemorrhage. If a rupture occurred, without prompt treatment, death would occur rapidly. The term aneurysm is used for the swelling of any such blood vessel in this manner.

The risk of death can be seen from the fact that the aorta is the largest artery in the human body. It originates from the left ventricle of the heart and extends down to the abdomen. There, the aorta branches off into two smaller arteries (the common iliacs).

Although his health is pre-eminent, Jeff Green had been expected to be Boston’s sixth man. Without him, the Celtics are in a bind, after their starting five, at any rate. Green came to the Celtics in the middle of last season from the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of the Kendrick Perkins trade.

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