Jeff Green, Dwight Howard, Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin

FILE: Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green (8) drives against Houston Rockets forwards Dwight Howard (12), Chandler Parsons and guard Jeremy Lin (7) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Nobody considers Jeff Green’s strained left calf a long-term issue, but the Boston Celtics small forward’s return date keeps getting pushed backward.

Initially hoping to miss just a day of practice, he has now been out of action for six days. Thursday, the timetable was extended once more.

Head coach Brad Stevens now believes Green won’t hit the court until Monday at the earliest.

A few more days of rest shouldn’t derail Green’s season, not even close. He’s a veteran. He’s done this before. But with his team impressing in preseason action, he badly wants to suit up.

“After not missing any games the last couple of years, just missing practice, it sucks,” Green told reporters in Toronto on Thursday afternoon. “I want to be out there on the floor. I want to be playing, doing anything involving basketball, any type of movement.

“I’ve never been a guy who sits still for too long, so this is kind of killing me right now.”

In Green’s absence, Boston has started Evan Turner at small forward. He hasn’t always fit in with his teams, but the Celtics hope to tap into more of his skills. With a flurry of nice passes and nifty shots to go along with his normal strong rebounding, the free-agent acquisition has performed admirably (12.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game). His ability to handle the ball and penetrate into the paint could make things easier on his teammates.

With the obvious caveats — it’s only preseason! it’s just the Sixers …read more