At 39 years of age, Boston Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal has certainly endured his share of injuries during his remarkable 19-year career. However, it’s his current injury that have the Celtics and local fans worried.
O’Neal has been sidelined for the past two weeks with a strained right calf, and has been ruled out of Sunday’s opening game with the New York Knicks in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
Celtics president Danny Ainge told reporters that O’Neal failed to complete a running test on Saturday. O’Neal ran for a few minutes, but had to stop after experiencing pain.
O’Neal also has a balky Achilles tendon, which has further slowed his progress.
Ainge would not further speculate on O’Neal’s status for the rest of the series, and Celtics team physician Brian McKeon told NBA.com that O’Neal had been receiving intense treatment directly on the affected area of his calf, but also said that calf injuries are especially difficult to treat.
O’Neal was specifically brought in by the Celtics to provide bulk up front in their quest to hang their 18th banner up in the rafters. O’Neal was limited to just 37 games during the regular season, and with the trade of Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder, O’Neal is being counted upon to provide quality minutes during the postseason.
However, O’Neal’s battered and bruised body is saying otherwise.
For continuing coverage of the Boston Celtics, follow us on Twitter @chowdaheadz.