The Washington Times - March 29, 2011, 10:01AM

ANNAPOLIS – Navy began spring practice Monday without one of its most familiar presences.

Defensive coordinator Buddy Green had his gall bladder removed in mid-March and is now recovering at home after initially experiencing complications from surgery.

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“First and foremost, we’re concerned about his health,” coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “Obviously, he’s a major, major part of our success as a program and the success we’ve had over the years, Buddy’s a major, major cog in all of that. But he’s recovering right now, so we’re grateful for that.”

Green is entering his 10th season as Navy’s defensive coordinator. Niumatalolo said the defensive staff is communicating with Green by phone and also plans to send him practice tapes to keep him in the loop until he returns – but not at the cost of his health.

“Buddy’s such a grinder, if he could, he would pull his hospital bed out here,” Niumatalolo said. “I just say ‘You stay out of here.’ Our first and foremost thing is to make sure he gets healthy, so we feel confident and he feels confident he’s back to the road to recovery.”

Patrick Stevens