USA TODAY Sports
First, let me start with this: In no way was this find something that I pursued and forced out of Jeff Green. In fact, I only wandered onto the article through searching forum topics and other articles. In other words - I am not taking credit for this find, I just believe it to be well worth a FanPost to be mentioned. Especially because it answers some of those lingering questions we have had the last few weeks, or even months.
WEEI released an article today on Jeff Green. It's an excellent read and I highly recommend you read the entire thing, especially if you are a fan of Jeff Green & his talent. You can find the article here. It is a very inspiring article that outlines what kind of comeback Jeff Green had to endure. What he really went through. I will only post the tidbits I find relevant to my point though.
The first one is this: Green's surgery was extremely invasive and dangerous. One of the key themes throughout this article was that Green could have died on that operating table. The odds were listed as only 1%, but that is still a chance. He also had a risk of needing a pacemaker - among other aides that would have completely ended his career. I did not personally realize that his surgery was that serious. I assumed it was a bit more routine and basic.
"For these types of operations, I go over the risk of death," Svensson says. "We've done some 400 of these procedures, and I haven't lost a patient. I always say there's a 1 percent risk of that happening. There's also a 1 percent risk of stroke, a 1 percent risk of failure of other organs, and there are smaller risks like needing a pacemaker. The area we operated on is where everything joins up in the heart. It's where the four valves attach. It's the electrical system to the heart."
To me, that is huge. These are some extremely serious risks. If that was not enough, this next quote will paint the picture of what kind of conditions Green was in during his surgery. They were critical, extremely serious.
For other less-invasive heart procedures, Svensson operates through what he calls "a keyhole in the chest." Green's procedure was not in the "less-invasive" category. Svensson made a 10-inch cut in Green's chest, separated the breast bone, and stopped his heart for what he estimates to be an hour and 15 minutes. Svensson connected a heart-lung bypass machine to provide oxygen to Green's organs during repair. He then provided a new valve in the aorta, closed the heart, and closed the breastbone using stainless steel wires.
Green was then sent to the intensive care unit, and per the doctor's treatment plan, remained unconscious until the next morning.
As we all know, Jeff Green woke up. It was a successful surgery and he had no serious complications. However, he was not out of the dangerous water yet. The article outlined that it took Green until May of 2012 to even be able to touch a basketball. He literally had to learn to walk, jog, and run - all over again. Most of us had heard this news, but I never really put it into the perspective it deserves. This all brings me to the question that we finally have an answer for. Something we all have been wondering - Why is Jeff Green not getting 35MPG with his current outstanding play? Well - Green finally gave us an answer.
The scary part for Celtics opponents is Green believes he has yet to return to full strength. "Not yet, I still have days where there's a little pain," Green says. "I feel like I'm close to 90 percent. I wouldn't say I'm 100. The doctor said I won't peak until a year or two after." Green has maintained a friendship with Dr. Svensson after the surgery. The player recently mailed the doctor an autographed No. 8 Celtics jersey that Svensson plans to frame and display in his TV room. Svensson attended the Celtics-Cavs game in Cleveland on Jan. 22 and spoke with Green courtside. The doctor remarked to the player how much more muscular he looked compared to the last time they'd met.
That is huge. First off, Green does not feel 100 percent at this point in his career. He says he is only about 90 percent. This can be shrugged off and we could say: "Well, you are about as good as you are going to get, that last 10 percent may mean very little." Well - not really. The doctor himself told Green that it could take an entire year or two until he finds his way back to 100% Jeff Green. On top of that, Green admits that he still feels some pain some days.These all answer that question, how far along is Green in his recovery. Well, he is most of the way - but he is not done yet.
I have news for you, if this is 90% of his game:
Since that time, Green has emerged as one of the building blocks for the future on a Celtics team that is one of the oldest in the NBA. In the 15 games since February 1, Green is averaging 15.3 points and 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks while shooting 50.6 percent from the field. The Celtics are 11-4 in those games. With an improving low-post game and range from 3-point land, Green has proven to have one of the most versatile games of any forward in the NBA during the stretch. In a victory over Phoenix on Feb. 22, he tallied 31 points, seven rebounds, four assists, five blocks, two steals, and shot 3-for-5 on 3-pointers. Wednesday night against Indiana, Green got the call on the final possession, darting to the basket through a Paul Pierce screen, only to make a contested, game-winning layup with 0.5 seconds on the clock. Afterward, Green said, "I wanted the ball."
I cannot wait to see Green at 100%. He has proven a lot of fans this year dead wrong - Green had been productive, he has stepped up. He has been a valuable key player to this team. The best part? It looks like he has more to give.
Kudos to you Jeff Green.