|Shaquille O’Neal won’t return until after All-Star break||02.12.11 at 6:28 pm ET|
The Celtics thought Shaquille O’Neal would be out for a few games with what they called an inflamed Achilles. A few games have lasted longer than they expected and now it seems unlikely that O’Neal will be back until after next weekend’s All-Star break at the earliest.
It’s not just Shaq. Fellow center Semih Erden (groin, strained abductor) is also not likely to return before the break.
“Semih’s out until after the break and Shaq will be too,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said following the team’s practice on Saturday. “We don’t even know if they’ll be back after the break right now. Semih’s groin is not improving and Shaq’s Achilles is not improving at all. We thought we’d have them both back by the last game, but that’s fine. We’re good.”
Rivers said Shaq’s injury has not gotten worse, but it hasn’t improved. “It just hasn’t healed,” the coach said. “It’s no worse, but it hasn’t healed as quickly.”
The Celtics are already without Jermaine O’Neal (knee surgery) and Marquis Daniels (bruised spinal cord) for at least the next month, if not longer. They hope to get Delonte West back Wednesday when they play the Nets in their final game before the break. Following the break, the Celtics will head out west for a four-game road trip with games against the Clippers, Warriors, Jazz and Nuggets.