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Shaq leaves game with thumb injury

Feb 26, 2010, 8:33 AM EDT

NBA_o'neal1_250.jpgUPDATE 2/26 8:22 am: After the game Shaq did not have a wrap or splint on his his sprained thumb. Coach Mike Brown said he will not play Friday against Toronto and he will undergo an MRI today to determine the extent of the damage.

2/25 9:33 pm: It’s one of the great NBA ironies that the game’s biggest players and biggest stars are often sidelined with the smallest of injuries. But in a game based on such incredible technique and precision, every digit counts. Every toe is crucial in executing the a textbook jab step or drop step, and every finger the difference between the perfect bounce pass and a wild fling out of bounds.

Or in this case, every finger is the difference between badly missing a free throw, and just hurling the shot it into the stands, I guess.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that Shaquille O’Neal, he of 7’1” and 325 lbs. of body mass, was taken out of tonight’s game between the Cavaliers and the Celtics by a thumb injury. TNT’s David Aldridge described it as a “significant right thumb sprain,” and the injury was confirmed by x-ray. With the game still in progress, it’s obviously still unknown if O’Neal will miss any other games due to the injury, but updates will be provided as they become available.

In the meantime, Anderson Varejao will play double-time at the 5. He’s not a bad option (especially on the defensive end), but think the Cavaliers miss Zydrunas Ilgauskas right now? 

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