Ex-Lakers Champ, Sixers Veteran Responds to Crushing Injury News

Danny Green

Getty Sixers veteran Danny Green is facing a lengthy rehab after tearing his MCL and LCL in Game 6.

Danny Green heard some noises that “were not comforting” when Joel Embiid accidentally crashed into his leg on Thursday night. The Sixers veteran didn’t know how bad it was at the time, but he had a feeling it wasn’t good.

It wasn’t. An MRI confirmed Green tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee, setting him up for a long rehab this summer. Those injuries can take up to six to nine months to recover from which would put the 34-year-old – Green turns 35 this June – in jeopardy of missing the start of the 2022-23 season. He talked about what happened on the play on Friday during the team’s final media availability this year.

“I didn’t know how serious it was until I tried to put weight on it and it buckled,” Green told reporters. “And then I realized it’s probably going to take some time and I wasn’t going to be able to return to the series at all.”

Despite the initial shock and pain, Green argued with team doctors to let him back onto the court to support his teammates at the end of the fourth quarter in Game 6. Philadelphia was getting shellacked and trailed by as many as 20 points but the three-time champion wanted to be in the huddle. To see his guys and say goodbye to the fans.

“I just felt it was important I be there with them,” Green said. “I tried to come out earlier but the doctors didn’t think it was a good idea, they wanted to keep the swelling down for the MRI. Wanted me to stay in the back but I said, ‘let me just put my sweatshirt on and I can sit at a table and watch the game,’ whether to help coaching or encouraging. I wanted to have my energy there for them.

“But if I’m not able to come out, I know something is really wrong so it took me a long time to get out there, which lets you know it was a serious situation but I was able to finally shower and sneak out there for the last couple minutes of the fourth, to see my guys and say goodbye to the fans.”

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Green Posts Encouraging Twitter Message

The news of the severity of Green’s knee injury broke after he addressed the media, although he and everyone else had already feared the worst. The veteran wing was using crutches and wincing in pain as he approached the podium. This marks the first major injury (other than routine hamstring, calf, hip issues) of Green’s career, one that has spanned 13 seasons and three world championships.

Green posted a picture from Game 6 on Twitter along with the green heart emoji, an indication of love and support. Several fans and former teammates, like LeBron James, tweeted out encouragement when the injury happened. Green sounded bummed about the whole thing, but he’s trying to remain upbeat and positive.

“Kinda sucks,” Green said. “Year 13, as you get older, it gets tough to deal with. It’s not the most fun thing to think about when you’re starting your summer.”

Doc Rivers Knew It Was ‘Not Good’

Sixers head coach Doc Rivers knew the diagnosis wasn’t going to be good when he first saw Green go down. After Game 6, he got a tad emotional talking about Green and all his veterans. Rivers said that Green called him at about 1 a.m. on Friday – three hours after the playoff loss – and the two vented about the season.

“Tough for him,” Rivers said. “Danny is obviously important to us, but there’s nothing you can do about that.”

Green inked a two-year, $20 million deal last offseason. However, Green is on a team option and his second year isn’t fully guaranteed. That means the Sixers could theoretically release him prior to July 1 and not owe him a dime. Philadelphia will have a tough decision to make on one of their few veteran leaders, a guy with legit championship experience on a franchise starved for leaders and “mental toughness.”

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