As others wish for fancy gifts and gizmos this month, Cameron Green will likely put something a bit more practical at the top of his Christmas wish list.
He'd like a thumb's up from his doctor.
Stevenson's junior guard has a broken hand. And he's been shelved during the top-ranked Patriots' 7-0 start.
A star wide receiver for the football team, Green injured his hand in the Patriots' playoff loss to Loyola last month in the Class 8A state semifinals.
"He's not even really sure how he did it," Stevenson basketball coach Pat Ambrose said. "It just started hurting him in the game and then it started swelling up. Now, he's in a cast."
The injury is to Green's right hand, his shooting hand.
The Patriots will use extra caution in bringing him back, and not just to protect his future shooting touch. They're looking to protect his future.
Green has already attracted major Division I college interest in football.
"We've also got to remember that Cameron is a wide receiver, and you don't want to be messing with the hands of a wide receiver," Ambrose said. "We'll re-evaluate things over the holidays and make a decision then.
"For now, he's at practice every day with us and he's learning."
Other aches and pains:
Sure, No. 1 Stevenson has had superstar guards Jalen Brunson and Connor Cashaw to turn to.
But it is still impressive that the Patriots have rolled out to a 7-0 start while missing four key players to injury.
Not only is Cameron Green out with a broken hand, two other football players who cross over into basketball (Nick Dillon and Pat O'Connell) are still nursing injuries from football season.
And Matt Morrissey, the Daily Herald's honorary captain of the Lake County all-area football team, is just starting to find his basketball legs after suffering a hamstring injury at the end of football season. That injury sidelined the star wide receiver and cornerback for a couple of games. For the most part, he's back to playing his normal minutes on the hardwood, but he's still working to get sharper.
"We're starting to get better, and healthier, but we're still not quite there yet," Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose said. "It's kind of been like a chess match so far, moving people around and putting some players in different spots because of all the injuries. The one good thing is that it's allowed us to see a lot more of some players."
Dillon and O'Connell typically come off the bench for the Patriots. They'll get a more robust workload once they're fully recovered from a shoulder and ankle injury, respectively.
It's not enough that defenses have to contend with both Jalen Brunson and Connor Cashaw.
Now, Stevenson presents a third worry on the perimeter.
Matthew Johnson, a 5-foot-10 guard who transferred to Stevenson from Batavia last year, has shown solid scoring and ball-handling skills so far this season. In a win over Mundelein last week, Johnson had 13 points.
"I'm really happy with our strong, experienced guard play," Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose said. "I'm really happy with the way (Johnson) is playing, but I'm not surprised. We knew he was good last year, he just came to us banged up."
Johnson, who can play point or shooting guard, had suffered a knee injury (meniscus) shortly before he left Batavia. He spent the better part of last season rehabbing.
"It took him a long time to get healthy, but we knew it was going to be good when that happened," Ambrose said. "Matthew and Jalen and Connor had all played on the same AAU team so they all knew each other and worked well together."
Johnson is averaging about 10 points for the Patriots while Brunson is at about 18 points per game and Cashaw is at 17 points per game.