Danny Green is determined to play next season.
Never mind that the full recovery from an ACL tear could take up to a year. The 76ers swingman said on his SiriusXM podcast, Inside the Green Room, that he’ll be back sooner.
“I will be back for All-Star break. You got to believe it. You heard it here first,” said Green, who suffered ACL and LCL tears in his left knee in the opening minutes in May 12′s Game 6 loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
“So I will work my tail off to rehab to get back healthy,” he added. “My body and my bones usually heal pretty well. I don’t have any bad habits. So, yeah, I think I’ll be back in time to help a team in the playoff run and show and prove that I’m able to still play at that level to help a team get a win in the playoffs.”
Green suffered the injury in the series-ending 99-90 setback after Joel Embiid inadvertently fell on his leg underneath the basket.
While optimistic about returning next season, there’s a chance Green won’t be on the team. The Sixers have until July 1 to pick up the final year of his deal. By not picking up his option, the Sixers would shed $10 million in salary.
Green, who turns 35 next month, averaged 5.9 points and 21.8 minutes in 62 games this season, with 28 starts. He said he has not yet spoken to Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey about his future.
“I don’t know what they’re going to do,” he said. “In this league, it’s a business. You just expect the worst and hope for the best. But I know ... that I’m not going to be able play [at the] start of the season, and they’re assuming most of the season. But for me, I think I would be able to play at least half the season, or at least the tail end of the season before playoffs.
“They might say, not pick it up. Or they might trade it. That’s part of the business. So we haven’t spoken yet.”