Shaquille O'Neil gives David Ortiz a hug, wisdom

The below is a cross-post by Scott Levesque of

What do you do when you’re trying to find a support group for large athletes dealing with Achilles injuries and you can’t find one? First, you need to realize there are not enough of you to warrant a support group and second you find the biggest athletes around that dealt with the same injury issue and ask them.

That’s exactly what Red Sox slugger David Ortiz did as he sought (serendipitously) the advice of one Shaquille O’Neal. When Ortiz was initially diagnosed with the injury - walking around in a boot - he ran into the 7-footer and the two discussed the injury at length. Follow his final season (2010-2011) in the NBA Shaq was seen hanging around Boston (why won't he since it's the greatest city on earth) and the two naturally found their way to one another, naturally.

“I bumped into him while I was wearing the boot,” said Ortiz. “We just talked about the first time he started getting pain. He struggled with that. He was a big guy who, when he was doing things, moving around, he was doing damage. At some point, he had to go in and fix it.”

Hopefully the former Celtic center gave Ortiz some encouragement as well as advice because it's not looking great at the moment for the Red Sox designated hitter. Dealing with a leg injury, especially for heavier athletes, seems to take more time and can have prolonged setbacks like the one Ortiz is currently experiencing.

“Big guys, that kind of injury, we carry more weight. You use your Achilles for everything. There’s nothing you do without using your Achilles, so it definitely takes longer than if a little guy injures his Achilles,” said Ortiz. “So, just be smart about it. you don’t want to get it worse. That’s the same thing I've been hearing from everybody.”

Perhaps Ortiz should keep O'Neil's number on speed dial as he continues to battle through his Achilles and inflammation issues - if for nothing else but to hear what crazy remarks come out of the long time NBA great's mouth.

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