- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Chris Forsberg/ESPN Boston
Jeff Green at Celtics practice on Thursday.WALTHAM, Mass. -- Jeff Green, who will sit out the entire 2011-12 season due to an aortic aneurysm that will require surgery to repair next month, was on the Celtics' practice court Thursday decked out in green and spending time with his teammates.
Green is not under contract with the team because his failed physical voided a one-year, $9 million deal, and he's certainly not obligated to spend time here. But Celtics coach Doc Rivers stressed the organization's desire to keep Green around.
"He’s part of the team," said Rivers. "Jeff’s hopefully going to get a [championship] ring. He’ll be there just like everybody else.
"Jeff doesn’t have to be here, but he wants to be here and we want him here. He’s part of our culture, he’s part of our family. We want to keep him in our family."
Green spent time getting up shots alongside Marquis Daniels, who is embarking on his own improbable return to the basketball court after spine surgery this summer, and politely declined all media requests while leaving the floor.
"Jeff’s our brother, man," said Kevin Garnett. "We want him around. What he’s about to go through, none of us have been through. What he’s about to go through is definitely life-changing. We want him around. We don’t know if we’re going to see him, or what the future holds for any of us, but it’s good to have him around. It’s good to have him still be the younger brother that he is to us. We ask everybody to respect his place and his privacy, for he and his family, and we wish him the best."
Added Rajon Rondo: "Jeff’s not only a teammate, he’s a good friend of ours. So to have him around, to have his wisdom whenever he can share it with us [is great]. It’s great to have him around."