Celtics  center Shaquille O’Neal  is expected to practice with the team on Thursday and be ready to return for Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs , according to a Globe beat reporter’s Twitter account .
“Celtics president Danny Ainge said Shaquille O’Neal unlikely to play Wed, but expected to practice Thursday and be ready for Game 1,” Globe reporter Gary Washburn wrote.
O’Neal has played once since Feb. 1, missing 26 games with an inflamed Achilles tendon before returning on April 3 — when he strained his calf against the Pistons after just five minutes on the floor. The 15-time NBA All-Star has averaged 9.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in 37 games for the Celtics this season.
As it stands now, the Celtics would be the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference and face the Knicks in Round 1 of the playoffs (date, time TBA).
In other Celtics news, multiple reports indicate that Kevin Garnett , Rajon Rondo  and Ray Allen  will not play against the Wizards in Washington on Monday night. Glen Davis , Delonte West  and Jeff Green  are expected to start in their place.