ESPN Boston
Boston Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal received a cortisone shot in his ailing right foot Tuesday and was placed back in an immobilizing boot, sources told ESPN Boston.

The objective with the boot is to eliminate the return of swelling after his Achilles injury flared up again recently while he was trying to work his way back to game action, according to the sources. The Celtics remain optimistic that O'Neal, who has been sidelined with the injury since Feb. 1, could return next week.

O'Neal traveled with the team on a recently completed three-game road trip with the goal of participating in walk-through activities as he ramped up toward game action. But the foot that has been prone to flare-ups did so again, forcing the team to aggressively attack with the injection.

A source told ESPN Boston on Wednesday that O'Neal would hopefully be back on the floor by April 1, allowing him two weeks before the end of the regular season to shake off rust and get acclimated with his teammates again.
The report goes on to suggest that Rivers might have more information tomorrow. This is a major blow for the Celtics as Danny's deadline big men pickups continue to struggle. The Cavs were actually better last season in the playoffs when Shaq was on the bench than when he was in the game. Now Shaq is a year older and it looks like he won't be healthy the rest of the way. I understand why they still are saying their aiming for his return this week. A) The Celtics always act like guys are about to return and B) They're running out of time to get Shaq back into game shape. We've entered now or never time.

If the other O'Neal, possibly the oldest 32 year old that ever lived, can return and gives us 25 minutes a night, Shaq's nagging foot issue won't be the be all end all to the Celtics title hopes. And reports are actually out that Jermaine has lost some weight and has been working out pain free. My guess is right now that it's more likely Jermaine will last the playoffs than Shaq.

I'm sorry Curly fans, but while Kristic has a lot of heart and it's easy to root for him (sort of like Scal), he just doesn't have the strength or athleticism to stop other centers or control the defensive boards. What did he have 1 yesterday? In the playoffs as the game becomes less finesse and more power his weaknesses will only become magnified. Sadly I should add Jeff Green has also struggled significantly in playoffs past. But he's fine as Pierce's backup, and I like Delonte as the 3rd guard. It's the center position which right now is the problem. Let's hope Jermaine can step up (Or Kazaam Shaq gets a new foot to hold up his 390 pound frame).

JR 3/24/2011 09:05:00 PM Edit
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18 Responses so far.

  1. Saw that. I guess that's the reason we were all so against Shaq Diesel coming to Boston back in the summer. Dude's 40.

  2. JR says:

    Yeah people get excited by the name, but it's like if we signed Jordan right now. Don't expect the same player. People should of learned after watching a year of Rasheed walk up and down the court chucking 3's last season. Then when we needed him in Game 7, he broke down in the 2nd half and our lead disappeared.

    Remember 2 years ago when Rondo was averaging like 10 rebounds for part of the playoffs? We might need that this post season as well.

  3. Good thing we loaded up on five 7-footers and then traded two of them away while two of the others were hurt, Danny. Can't wait for the playoffs.

    Can't wait.

  4. Sam says:

    I'm not too worried about Shaq not being COMPLETELY match fit for the playoffs. He's playing 15-20 mins, and his role is to basically be big & strong. He's pretty good at that.

    If Shaq, JO & Wafer can get back anytime before the playoffs, I'm confident going in. West/Wafer/Green/Big Baby/JO would be the only dudes you need to play off the bench. Which will help chemistry wise.

    Like you said, Krstic think is gonna become kinda irrelevant during the post season.

    Jesus I wish we got Powe instead of Troy Murphy.

  5. Mark Alarie says:


  6. JR says:

    Shaq's foot problem is starting to give me a Bill Walton 1987 vibe.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Who are you guys? Did you just become Celtic fans this year? Why do you fall for this every single year? Year after year after year... Shaq is absolutely fine. He got a cortisone shot. Shaq was getting cortisone shots before every other game the entire first half of the season. How do you forget that? Do you not also remember the main reason he sat out in the first place? Cuz he was getting too many cortisone shots. We figured we can't give them to him throughout the year, so let him take a break. Come back for the playoffs and restart his ritual cortisone treatment then. All of a sudden him getting the shot is big news and reason to panic with such ridiculous claims like "JO will probably play more in the playoffs". Lol I'll take that bet! Anyone willing to bet me that?

    JR has been whining ever since the trade. It's almost as if he wants the Celtics to fail so he can say "I told you trading Perk was bad". It shows in almost every single article he writes. Now he's trying to make a big deal outta Shaq getting the same treatment he got 30x this season. Geez!

    I'll tell you what happened. Shaq was set to return this week. But with the C's losing and not gonna force huge minutes on everyone to get the 1 seed, it was decided that getting the 2 seed is stupid. The 2 seed will have NY, then MIA/ORL, then Chicago. The 3 seed is on the easy side of the bracket. So instead of limping in to the 1 seed, or not allowing the big 4 to rest into the 2 seed, they decided to take it easy and get the 3. Which means telling Shaq to sit back a couple weeks longer. My only concern with that strategy is trying to get a better record than LA. Doc and Danny are gonna have to decide what's more important: Getting the softer side of the east playoff bracket, or getting home court against LA.

    You guys have learned nothing from the past 3-4 years of this team if you think Shaq is really injured and won't play in the playoffs. I expect it from whiny JR, but to read the few comments on here you'd think nobody has a memory longer than 1 season.

    Mark my words. Shaq will be back before the playoffs. Shaq will be absolutely fine. Equal to, if not better than 1st half of the season Shaq. Shaq will not miss significant time do to ANY of the so-called injuries he's been listed as having over the past couple months. Infact, if Shaq misses ANY playoff game, it'll be because of some new, UNFORESSEN, atrocious injury he incures during a playoff game. Anyone wanna give me 2:1 odds on that bet, let me know. I'll check back.

  8. ThomasJ says:

    Anonymous breaks it all down - what are we worried about? JR isn't whining when he speaks the truth about the Shaq factor in Cleveland last season. The first half of the season Shaq that you are counting on for every game in the playoffs isn't good enough and was just holding the fort until Perk got back. JR doesn't have to say "I told you trading Perk was bad", if you watch the games that is obvious.

  9. JR says:

    Thanks ThomasJ. Obviously those who thought it was a needless poor thought out gamble of a trade still want the C's to win. It's just harder now. Not impossible.

  10. Anonymous says:

    @ThomasJ - "The first half of the season Shaq... is not good enough." Last I checked we were best in the east with Shaq. And no, your right. JR pointing out what Cleveland did last year with him as opposed to what we did with him THIS year is JR being JR. Pessimistic, I'd rather be right then win JR.

  11. Anonymous says:

    By the way. I'm just busting your b%#*s with the "whiny" comments. I love your stuff JR. Just couldn't help but point out your overall pessimistic attitude ever since the trade. Lol Cheer up buddy! We miss you!

  12. Bohemian says:

    "The source was quick to point out that the fact Shaq received the shot Tuesday does not indicate there has been any setback.

    The injection, first reported by ESPN Boston, is part of the plan to keep O’Neal on the active roster once he returns."


  13. Bohemian says:

    I think they just want Shaq fully ready for the playoffs.

  14. Bohemian says:

    But in any case, we all here expect the Celtics to win anonymous. Plus, everyone is entitled their opinion.

  15. Jenda says:

    Honestly, Shaq has played this year 300% better than last year or possibly a few years before and he fits the C's system much better (probably because Doc worked him into the system). If he can return, he's going to contribute.

  16. This isn't really a set back...

  17. Tim says:

    Well if you guys haven't noticed Doc and Danny's plan was to be able to have Shaq and JO in June not March. If this was any other team JO and Shaq would be playing because they all played through injuries last season. I expect Shaq and JO to be able to go start of the playoffs otherwise why would Danny trade Perk? Were a different with Shaq in and JO can play defense which is what we need him for. Were getting Shaq fresh before the playoffs just like the Cavs did last year.

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