Emotional Jeff Green 'glad to be alive' on anniversary of heart surgery

Jared Wickerham

One year after undergoing a procedure that could have ended his career, the Celtics forward had one of his best games of the season on Wednesday night.

The road to recovery hasn't always been easy for Jeff Green, as the Celtics forward has struggled to live up to expectations after signing a four-year, $36 million contract in the off-season.

However, considering where Green was on Jan. 9, 2012 -- laying in a hospital bed about to undergo surgery to repair an aortic valve in his heart -- he knows he's lucky to be in the NBA at all:

"I don't cry, but, it was. A year ago I had heart surgery. When I think about laying in the bed when I woke up from it, and to where I am now...it's a big deal to me. Like I said, I'm just glad to be here, glad to be alive, glad to be playing basketball."

(Quotes courtesy of Green Street)

Green was certainly playing ball on Wednesday, with 14 points, including two rim-rattling dunks, and three rebounds in Boston's 87-79 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

The Celtics, currently in the No. 8 spot in the East with an 18-17 record, desperately need Green's scoring punch and athleticism coming off their bench.

But while he's still struggling with the consistency problems that have plagued him throughout his career, the fact that he still even has an NBA career after what's happened to him in the last year is an incredible accomplishment in and of itself.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.