- Green Street - http://greenstreet.weei.com -

Jermaine O’Neal to decide on whether to have surgery next week

Jermaine O’Neal [1] has already met with the Celtics [2] medical staff and will meet with a doctor on Monday for a second opinion on whether he should have surgery on his knee. O’Neal said he would make an announcement on Tuesday. “My preference is to play,” O’Neal said. “You don’t get this opportunity very often.”

If O’Neal did have surgery he would likely be out anywhere from 2-3 months. That timeframe would possibly put him back by the end of the regular season, but realistically it would be very difficult for him to contribute this season.

“If it means two months or more, that’€™s basically it,” Doc Rivers [3] said. “Everyone thinks when you say two months that means you play in two months. No, that means you start working out in two months. If you’€™re coming back in April and you haven’€™t played all year, there’€™s a very low chance of that you’€™re going to help us.”

Rivers said that O’Neal’s decision would have no bearing on what happens with Kendrick Perkins [4] and his rehab. “They’€™re two different things,” Rivers said. “I’€™m going to look out for the best interest of J.O. and I’€™m going to look out for the best interest of Perk and I’€™m going to do that separately.”

O’Neal said he is beyond frustrated by this latest turn of events. After missing 19 games he was able to return and had played well defensively, but he had a tough back-to-back last weekend and his knee swelled up after practice on Tuesday.

“It’€™s past that. It’€™s past frustrating. It’€™s far past that,” he said. “I didn’€™t foresee this happening.”