Rajon Rondo has taken up most of the injury spotlight for the Boston Celtics this preseason, but they are still without two players expected to play big roles on the team. Jeff Green and Vitor Faverani went down with injuries towards the beginning of camp. There hasn't been much news about their status, but this weekend provided some updates.
Jeff Green has missed the entire preseason so far with a calf strain. He came down with the injury during an inter-squad scrimmage last Friday. The most concerning part has been the shifting timetable regarding his return. At first he was taking it easy in practice, sitting out the first game. Then he missed then next game, and the game after that. To their credit, the Celtics never actually set a date for Green to come back. Understandably, Green's patience is beginning to wear thin. This week at practice, Green told reporters:
"I want to be out there on the floor. I want to be playing, doing anything involving basketball, any type of movement... I've never been a guy who sits still for too long, so this is kind of killing me right now"
Brad Stevens has tried to stay positive, focusing more on the playing time others are getting in Green's absence. Talking with Gresh and Zolak on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Stevens explained:
"I think if it goes past this week, certainly the frustration will mount more... But it's given great opportunities for other guys to play"
This type of injury is difficult to compare against other players though. Last year Thabo Sefolosha missed 17 games with a calf strain and Danny Granger sat out 25. On the other hand, Tiago Splitter and Jordan Clarkson are only expected to miss about 10 days apiece this year. The label of calf strain just doesn't provide a great amount of precision about the severity of the injury.
The good news is that apart from the massive outlier in his heart surgery, Jeff Green has zero injury history to speak of. In his career he's played in 97% of his team's regular season games. At 28, he hasn't hit the age where players start breaking down either. This shouldn't be the start of a recurring problem. If he starts missing regular season games then it will be time to worry.
The only lasting issue is the lack of time Green has spent with the new look Celtics. It would be nice to see where he fits in with the additions of Marcus Smart and Evan Turner. With the full lineup healthy those two probably come off the bench, but it would be interesting to see how a small ball lineup of Turner and Green could mesh.
Faverani's injury status is a bit more mysterious than Green's. Faverani underwent arthroscopic knee surgery back in March, so he should be back to full strength. He actually practiced with the team at the start of camp, but has been out since. He is still dealing with soreness and swelling in that knee, which is problematic. In a move that merits concern, he flew back to Spain to get a second opinion on his injured left knee. Brad Stevens mentioned the possibility of a cleanup surgery on the knee, saying:
Until the second opinion comes in Faverani's situation appears to be in limbo. A second surgery of any kind is never a good sign, so hopefully he gets some good news in Spain.
This week should provide more definite answers about the status of Green and Faverani. The results of Faverani's trip to Spain will be revealed and with any luck Green will be back to participating in basketball activities. Until then we just have to wait and hope for the best.