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Doc Rivers on Shaquille O’Neal: “It’s Not An Achilles, It’s Not A Bad Calf Strain”

 

On the heels of the Celtics 101-90 victory over the Detroit Pistons, somewhat positive news continues to filter in from the Celtics on the status of injured center Shaquille O’Neal. Let’s give you a quick rundown now of what we know, while also giving you plenty of reaction from Shaq’s teammates.

* Shaq did not use a wheelchair to get to the locker room, contrary to other reports. CSN cameras caught him leaving the arena before the conclusion of the contest, where he was walking gingerly on his right calf strain but was not sporting a walking boot.

* O’Neal did sit out three games in December of this season due a sore right calf.

* The news after the game was positive form Doc Rivers regarding the severity of the injury and the appearance that this was not a re-aggravation of the Achilles’ injury that kept O’Neal sidelined for the past 27 games.

Rivers on the injury: “The update is that it’s not the same injury. Had nothing to do with the Achilles; it’s a calf strain. It’s not a bad strain, but it’s a strain. So similar to the one Von (Wafer) had but not even close to the severity.”

Timetable on the injury: “‘I don’t know’ is the answer. I don’t think very long, honestly. That’s what (Dr.) McKeon and them thought, that it’s very minor. Scary, more than anything. And you know I’m sure with the calf that he probably thought Achilles right away. But we’ll see.”

Will This Cause Doc To Consider Shutting Shaq Down Longer? “I don’t know what to do, honestly. My inclination is not, because we need – he needs to play. We have to play at full-tilt in six or seven – you know what I’m saying? But I don’t know the answer to that.”

Reaction from the rest of the Boston locker room after the jump

PAUL PIERCE

Do You Feel for Shaq? “It’s tough he’s been out so long, he tried to do it today, without any chance to have any practices. I just hope he’s alright, I don’t really the know the extent of what’s going on, but you know he’s been out so long, resting, trying to get his injuries together and it’s very disappointing. He comes out, especially after being out so long, to come down with another injury.”

Did the wind go out of the team’s sails when Shaq went down? “It felt like pausing time you know, it felt like just having his presence out there was big tonight. Even just having him for a few minutes, definitely you know, definitely a plus other there. It’s tough.”

Are you encouraged it’s only a calf strain? “I don’t know, when you get to that age, those ones tend to hurt a little bit longer. Shaq’s missed games before, he’s been injured before, he knows how to get through it mentally.”

JERMAINE O’NEAL

“Man he seemed to be in good spirits when he left, and I think he may be out there on Tuesday, but we’ll see. He was laughing and joking, I think it was more of a scare for the guys on the team and the fans of the Celtics. But, I think getting some practice time, cause he hasn’t had the ability to practice, it was kind of on the fly, he hasn’t been able to test it. And today he kind of tweaked it, hopefully for us we can get him back sooner because he got out to a great start today.”

KEVIN GARNETT

On Seeing Him Go Down “That wasn’t good, to see him. He’s been working his behind to get back to this point. He had some momentum going, he definitely gave us a spark. It was good to see him out there. If you know Shaq, you know he is always in spirits and to see him go like that was tough.

On The Severity: It’s minor. He’s a huge dude. Hopefully he can bounce back from this. Leg injuries are not easy. We are just hoping for the best at this point. It is what it is man. We’ve all dealt with injuries. We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve had to step up and hold each other down so to speak. This is no different from that.”

GLEN DAVIS (The Optimistic One)

“Shaq don’t get hurt. Shaq is invincible man. That’s what I believe in. He’ll be back. He’s all steel. Man of steel. That’s what I’ve been believing since I was a little kid. Shaq’s ok.”

Put it all together and this appears to be similar to the Garnett injury situation, which ironically was also against the Pistons this year. An injury that appears to be worse than it actually is.

I doubt we will see Shaq in the next game or two, unless it’s a miraculous recovery, but a return to the floor this week no longer appears to be out of the question. Now it just becomes a matter of seeing if Shaq can hold up for an actual playoff series or two, or hopefully four.

  • arn anderson

    Lets just play strictly back ups until post season please.

  • http://twitter.com/michaeljavid @michaeljavid

    I honestly believe Shaq will return for the game against Philly or Chicago.

    But if they were smart, they will just keep him for 5 straight minutes of the same quarter. He hurt himself after playing the first quarter, sitting a few minutes, then starting the second. Isn't that like playing two stints in the first half?! Doesn't make sense to me.

    I hope next time they keep it all in the same quarter, and only for the first half.

  • Batman

    Shaqqqqqqq

  • Mike

    He did look slimmer though.

  • http://www.padentalimplants.com/implants.php oral surgeon Phila

    It's good to see this guys winning as always. I wish they win championship this year.

  • Phil

    It was interesting to see the narrative change from 'this is why Perk was expendable,' to 'this is why it was a horrible idea to count on Shaq,' in a 5 minute span. I thought Shaq looked really good in the short time he was out there, and it seems clear that the big 4 plus Shaq is easily the best line up the Celtics could have hoped to put out in the playoffs. Its encouraging that the injury isn't serious, but its unnerving nonetheless.

    I'm aware that its a small sample size (against a bad team as well,) but that unit seemed to play with chemistry and didn't appear to miss much. It makes me think that Shaq will be able to contribute in the playoffs when it matters, regardless of how the regular season/first round plays out.

  • CG12

    Shaq will return to give the Cs something in the playoffs. It may not be a lot, and it doesn't need to be. If the team has both JO and Krstic relatively healthy, Shaq is an added bonus (a big one). Getting some post scoring from Shaq would be great, but the team mostly needs someone to take up space in the paint, get some defensive boards, and challenge shots at the rim. It was clear in the Spurs and Hawks games that Baby is too short, KG is too light, and Green is too unassertive to battle in the paint with the strong PFs and big Cs that virtually all the best teams have. If we have Murphy, JO, Krstic, and Shaq all available, this suddenly becomes a very deep, very big, team. Don't forget about Murphy. If the other guys are all healthy, he probably will only get spot minutes, but if you need a guy as an injury fill-in you could do an awful lot worse.

    • talesofJP

      Thats true, and there is no way he plays worse than Shelden did in the Final last year.

    • Chris O

      Exactly, ppl are forgetting that with Shaq, JO, Krstic, Murphy, KG, BBD, Green we are still deeper than ANY OTHER TEAM at bigs. Seriously. If Gasol or Bynum go down the Lakers do not have an army of big backups like we do

  • talesofJP

    Shaq looked great out there, I thought this would be a worse injury than it is which is good news. We really only need him from Round 2 on, so even if he is highly limited up until then, the biggest differences he will make will be against Miami, Chicago, and in the Finals. Having him out there against Philly isn't going to help us a ton since they are a quick team and he'll be lagging really bad on defense.

  • Jermanico

    in his post game press conference, doc rivers referred to a a really good article written about the celtics (i think it was regarding a recent game against orlando (feb 6th?)). did anybody catch that comment and make out which reporter he was talking to (it was the person who wrote the artice) or catch which article it was exactly? i'm interested in checking it out because i've never heard doc make a comment like that. btw, Doc's press conferences are so inciteful and are full of really interesting tidbits of info. it kills me that CSN almost always cuts away from them before they're over to get idiotic analysis from Gary Tanguay and Donnie Marshall. I mean, why would we ever want to hear from those guys instead of Doc Rivers? It baffles me.

  • shaq attack

    NEWSFLASH! Shaq is old. Shaq is fat. Shaq has a fork in his back.

    Look, you all knew what you were getting. The Shaq you laughed at for being washed up in Cleveland is now YOUR wounded whale, except a year older.

    • CG12

      Shaq is undeniably both old and fat. Shaq is also 7'2", 350+ lbs, with more career points, rebounds, and blocks than anyone else currently playing. Shaq will remove that fork from his back and use it to consume playoff opponents.

      • Corey

        Epic.

      • Chris O

        Hilarious to the Shaq degree

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