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Ex-Sixer, 3-Time Champion Announces NBA Return After Devastating Injury

Former Philadelphia 76ers sharpshooter Danny Green last played in an NBA game on May 12, 2022, in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Miami Heat. Green has been out recovering from a torn ACL and LCL following a freak accident in which Joel Embiid landed right on Green’s knee.

Green, who’s now on the Memphis Grizzlies, announced on his podcast “Inside the Green Room” that he plans to return to the court on February 1 against the Portland Trail Blazers.

“That’ll be the first one. It’s a week away from today. That’ll put me at exactly eight months from surgery, where the tendon will feel pretty good,” Green said.

After being traded along with a first-round pick in exchange for De’Anthony Melton, Green expects to appear in his first game with the Grizzlies, who are no. 2 in the Western Conference standings with a record of 31-16 but have lost three in a row. With Green’s return on the horizon, he should add more wing depth to the Grizzlies’ core for their upcoming playoff run.

Green’s Thoughts on His Rehab

On his podcast, Green detailed the struggles he’s gone through since recovering from his injuries, though he admitted he’s taken pleasure in being able to do the things he could before tearing his ACL and LCL.

“We’ve gotten a lot of 5-on-5s in, having a lot of fun doing it and actually just more excited about it,” Green said. “Obviously, rehab sucks. the process is a pain in the ass. But I think there is some joys and excitement to seeing yourself be able to come back to normal, feel normal, to be able to run again, to be able to walk, to jump, to be able to slide, to be able to shoot, to be able to dunk the ball.”

Green also made it clear that he is fortunate to have recovered in the time that he has, knowing that a fair amount of basketball players who tear their ACL around the time he did tend to miss the next season entirely.

“Everybody’s body is very different,” Green said, “But I’ve been lucky…to have a pretty good surgeon, a pretty good body that healed really well and quickly, and the right people around me to help me get there. A lot of things had to fall in place for this to happen this way.”

Before his freak knee injury, Green’s managed to stay reasonably healthy throughout his career since his breakout performance with the San Antonio Spurs during the 2011-12 season. The fewest games Green has ever played since then was last season with the Sixers when he played 62 games. That will change when he makes his expected debut against the Trail Blazers.

Green’s Role With Grizzlies

While talking with Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Green delved into what he believes he brings to the Grizzlies at this stage of his career.

“What I bring is definitely needed here: perimeter shooting and perimeter defense,” Green told Wojnarowski on January 24. “I think I can bring maturity and help a young team understand what it takes to win. This has been an A-1 organization from top to bottom in handling this entire rehab with me.”

Green knows a thing or two about winning, having won three titles with the Spurs, Toronto Raptors, and Los Angeles Lakers.

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