Lost admist another gritty shorthanded Celtics win last night was another sobering setback when it comes to guy Doc Rivers wants to be manning the middle when the games count: Here’s A. Sherrod Blakely’s full report from CSNNE.com:
The C’s roster is coming together, for sure.
Not so much.
It seems just when one ailment is on the mend, another one flares up.
The right Achilles tendon injury that O’Neal suffered last month is healing fine, but now he’s once again bothered by some right foot soreness.
Now it’s to the point where the Celtics have no idea when the 7-foot-1 center, who turned 39 years old Sunday, will return to action.
When asked about O’Neal and a likely return date, coach Doc Rivers acknowledged he had no idea.
Both Mike Gorman and Cedric Maxwell both hinted that an April 1st return date may in fact be too optimistic during last night’s broadcast, so it’s clear this is quite the setback for the 38-yea-old in his recovery from an inflamed Achilles’ suffered in January.
The recent success of new addition Nenad Krstic helps to ease some of loss in this department during the regular season, but it will be tough for Shaq to develop the cohesion he needs with the starters if he’s just thrown into the fire after a two month absence when April rolls around.
It’s incredible to think at this point, but we may end up seeing Jermaine O’Neal before Shaq back in the lineup, when push comes to shove. Given the fact that Shaq is only really needed for a eight week stretch in April, May and June, it’s no surprise the team is being as cautious as possible right now when it comes to this injury.