But Green, 26, drafted by the Boston Celtics, traded to Oklahoma City and now back with Boston, said surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm has him back and feeling good — and ready to take on the NBA in the upcoming season.
“Fully recovered, part of the team, cleared for everything,” Green said Friday after participating in a basketball clinic at the Holland Elementary School in Dorchester, as part of a community service day alongside other members of the Celtics’ organization, the Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare Foundation, and City Year volunteers.
The smooth forward with diverse scoring skill said he’s “Getting in a groove, getting in a rhythm — but it’ll come. We still have two months until the beginning of the regular season. That stuff will come. I’ve really been able to do everything — contact, my movements, my shot is there, my lift is there. Everything is coming along.“
Green knows he’ll be peppered with questions about his health, but having not played an NBA game in nearly 16 months, it’s clear his focus now is on what lies ahead. That’s why when asked about the toughest hurdle in getting back on the floor, he smiles and declares, “Nothing.”
To be certain, there is rust to shake.
“Getting in a groove, getting in a rhythm — but it’ll come,” Green said. “We still have two months until the beginning of the regular season. That stuff will come. I’ve really been able to do everything — contact, my movements, my shot is there, my lift is there. Everything is coming along.”
Green signed a four-year, $36 million contract with the Celtics last month despite sitting out all of last season when a preseason screening detected the aneurysm. He underwent surgery at the renowned Cleveland Clinic and rehabbed at times around the team with a goal of returning to Boston this season.
Originally acquired from Oklahoma City at the trade deadline in February 2011, Green didn’t feel like he put his best foot forward in his abbreviated time with the Celtics. A year off gave himtime to assess his game, and he hopes to make a bigger impact on the 2012-13 squad.
“Just probably being more assertive, more aggressive in certain situations,” Green said of changes he’d like to make in his approach. “That’s about it. My game pretty much speaks for itself — a guy who can play multiple positions … attack in different situations. My game is what it is. I just have to improve on different things. Just show it out there on the court.”