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Shaq’s New Targeted Return Date: April 5th

The latest on Shaq’s progress via ESPNBoston.com at today’s practice, where a realistic return date is a little further off than recent sources have indicated according to head coach Doc Rivers:

“[Shaq coming on the road trip is] a possibility, I actually heard that there’s a chance, but I don’t expect it,” Rivers said before Saturday’s practice at the Sports Authority Training Center. “I can tell you I’ve heard different things. I just think that’s too optimistic, in my opinion, just being around the game long enough to know that, when they take the boot off, you usually don’t play a day later. And I don’t see him flying on the plane, getting the boot off — I just think that’s unrealistic.

“There’s a better chance — when do we come home, next Sunday? There’s a better chance there [vs. Detroit] and I actually don’t think that’s realistic. It’s more likely the game after that [vs. Philadelphia]. That would be our target date for Shaq. And I don’t even know if that one is [going to hold firm]. I would say [the optimistic members of the team are] thinking maybe Atlanta [next Friday], maybe the first game back [in Boston]. I think there’s no chance of that.”

A few other quick injury bullets from practice:

* Troy Murphy did not participate and does not expect to travel with the team for the road trip.

* Von Wafer did not practice. He told me before yesterday’s game that he is targeting a return Thursday night against San Antonio.

* Delonte West missed practice to be in Washington DC to have his house arrest lifted after 9 months after the sentencing in his gun possession case. West, who is battling bone chips in his ankle, will rejoin the team in Minnesota on Sunday and is expected to play:

Here a couple quotes from Delonte last night on his ankle problems and the team’s play last night:

“End of the day I keep trying to downplay it, I’ve had a sprained ankle before, it normally take 2, 3 days and your back in action., but their saying I got a chipped bone in there and I think I kind of over did a little bit in practice. Yesterday I was going super hard and the ankle swelled back up on me. I did two hours this morning treatment, I didn’t shoot around before the game. Just two-three hours of treatment just to get ready. I said once I step on the court there is no excuses. I’m still going to play defense, but with my shot I noticed that I was all in the takeoff and the landing. It was throwing my shot off. That last play I felt like I barely left the ground. Predominantly left hand, jumping off my right which is the bad ankle. I don’t know what that was, I closed my eyes for a second though. No excuses. We gave this one away. No offense to them, they played well, but I’m pretty sure they are over there and still can’t believe they won this game. Disappointing how we closed it out, but that’s us.”

  • Batman

    come on……i thought he would be back earlier

  • Mike

    I believe!!!

    • Batman


      • kricky

        And if you believe that I have great investment opportunity for you: a bridge that they are planning to turning into scrap metal. An absolute steal.

        • someguyinsac

          I'm interested, what you want for it?

          • Chris O

            Three 5 hour energy drinks and a box of chocolates…that way he never knows what he's gonna get

  • ElRoz

    Hmm…..I'll bet the team pushes the return date to later still…then he'll have a set back walking in a corridor and be out for the plyoffs – they'll want to save him for 2011-2012.
    JO will return and be out of shape and timing….play 3 games and go back on rehabbing some new injury.
    Delonte is ripe for another set back, I can feel it.
    The again, everything might finally go right.

  • Ryan DeGama

    No matter what happens in the playoffs, I suspect this will be the end of the senior citizens brigade in the Celtics locker room.

    • Batman

      It better be we need youth

  • Mark

    Good grief this has KG 2009 written all over it.

    • talesofJP

      not the same effect on the team at all, they could win a title w/out Shaq, not a chance without KG

      • Mark

        You missed the point entirely. In '09 the Celtics kept saying KG was "weeks" or "days" away from returning. Yet they kept pushing his return date further and further back. Same thing with Shaq. He was supposed to be back right after the All-Star break. Then a couple weeks ago. Then April 1st. Oops, make that the 5th.

        The point isn't the effect Shaq may or may not have on a title run. It's, once again, the Celtics not being honest with an injury. They handled J.O. in a similar manner.

  • celticfan

    giv eme a break. he will find some reason not to play just like JO they both might come back and play 1 game then they will both be out with some type of injury. face it the celtics are no more and i am really sad. Danny really destroyed this team. you ass hole. just like Doc last night said he don't care they have to find there own way. Doc and danny won't be there next season so they could give a shit less what happens to this team. Doc just wants this season to be over with

  • john schaffer

    they need to get a new coach for sure m doc is really a sorry tacticion as far as settling men down and calling time outs to settle team down.maybe he does need to go with Larry Brown and go to the house , as far as shag and jermaine forget it , biggest waste Danny got , well of course rasheed still next year being paid 6 million and change ,, then they have to pay shaq and jermaine next year for what????? sorry general managing

    • Chris O

      Rasheed retired he is not on the books or getting paid, that's why we could trade his contract….silly

  • spnose1

    if only we could have a core of rondo, jeff green, big baby, paul pierce, kg, ray allen, and DWIGHT HOWARD…then bring in a swingman like michael pietrus….haha keep dreaming we need a big man like dwight to be the future with rondo.

  • Dropstep

    I've seen a few comments calling Doc out for his supposed inability to coach offense. If I recall correctly, for the better part of this year, the Celtics ball movement has been great and they had the highest field goal percentage in the league. Doc is also praised for drawing up good plays coming out of timeouts. The main reasons the Celtics offense has been middling all year is because they do not take as many three's (or get as many free throws) as those teams with better offensive efficiency. They also don't bother with many offensive rebounds. So maybe Doc's not Mike D'Antoni on offense but go check out how his team's coming along. I more think that the offense is struggling because of execution more than any other reason. Doc has something to do with that but so do the players.

    • Dropstep

      and the fact that the Celtics turn the ball over as much as they do does not help. That also, has very little to do with Doc.

  • Tos

    Blaming Doc for the Celtics current struggles is a joke. He didn’t call any time outs last night to prove a point to his guys that he doesn’t agree with their slacking. He wanted them to fight back, he wasn’t going to bail them out.

  • Mike

    Chicago wins the second game in two nights where they're down all game and win it in the final minute…. lucky lucky…..

    • Mark

      Good, not lucky. Which sucks for the C's.

      Just gotta start, then continue, to win and hope the Bulls stumble.

  • rondeezy

    ive heard this too many times.. i feel like its gong to be shaqs return delayed delayed delayed, hey we'll have him perfectly healthy by game 1 of next season

  • Ryan

    RONDO has gotta play better.