Injured superstar center Shaquille O’Neal took time out of his birthday celebration to let fans know that he could be back starting for the Boston Celtics in one weeks time. Said O’Neal: “The Celtics want me back at 100 percent, I tried to run on it the other day, felt pretty good, but afterwards we kind of took a step back, so hopefully in a few days, in a week or so, I’ll be back.”
Shaq also mentioned that he would play if this were the playoffs. Shaq has been out of the lineup since February 1st and during that time the Celtics are 9-4 without him. On the season, Shaq has averaged 9.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 20.7 minutes per game in 36 games played.
Keep in mind, just over the course of a few days we heard about Shaq lobbying to play in Milwaukee and then having his return pushed back until Wednesday night against the Clippers, then out indefinitely and now possibly returning in a week. Confused? Yeah, so am I. Good news is that the Celtics are getting by just fine without him. Nenad Krstic has been a pleasant addition to the team and would be even more valuable as a sub off the bench with Shaq’s minutes most likely to hover around the 20 minute mark once he returns. We have said all along that the 2010-2011 Boston Celtics are good enough to coast into the playoffs. We’ll see what tomorrow brings on the Shaq return news front.
As I wrote this post, 3 members of the Miami Heat cried uncontrollably at the notion of Shaq returning to game action.