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Doc Rivers says Shaq may not return until playoffs

Mar 31, 2011, 1:06 PM EDT

shaq-return-april-1

Okay Boston fans, now you can start to really worry.

Doc Rivers pushed the timeline back for Shaq’s return from an Achilles tendon injury again, this time maybe as far back as the start of the playoffs, friend of the site A. Sherrod Blakely reports at CSN New England. (He also notes the Celtics have apparently been learning from the Bill Belichick injury reports.)

“I really hope we can get him before the playoffs,” said Rivers, who added that the injury is starting to “get close to bleeding” into the teams’ postseason plans.

While the C’s maintain there hasn’t been any setback, they do say it has taken longer to heal than anticipated (isn’t that a setback?)….

“The good thing with him is that he’s still big and strong,” Rivers said. “But that (not playing until the playoffs) would be difficult.”

This will certainly ramp up the complaints about the Kendrick Perkins trade.

The Celtics will get Jermaine O’Neal back, maybe as Thursday night against the Spurs. He will be asked to be the defensive anchor until Shaq returns. Whenever that is.

  1. hnirobert3 - Mar 31, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    The Celts are going to be in a world of trouble with potential matchups against the Bulls and Heat. Shaq’s great, first ball Hall of Famer, etc, but if they expect him to kick it into gear after having been out as long as he has they’re going to be in for a surprise. There’s no way he’s going to have his legs back for those series.

    • andyhr17 - Mar 31, 2011 at 1:39 PM

      Yes, big matchup problem against the Heat and their lack of big men….

      Now against the Bulls, that’s what could hurt.

      • hnirobert3 - Mar 31, 2011 at 1:51 PM

        The matchup problem won’t be against the Heat’s bigs, but against a slashing and driving Wade and LBJ. He’ll be in foul trouble by the second if not on the bench hooked up to an oxygen tank or IV.

  2. thestudiokida - Mar 31, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    Yeah ask the Cavaliers how that worked out for them last season.

    • thestudiokida - Mar 31, 2011 at 4:38 PM

      by the way this is a really frustrating issue for me. Huge Shaq fan but last year he was terrible in the playoffs and Mike Brown INSISTED on giving Shaq the ball and significant minutes despite his poor production. He clogged up the lane and Cleveland’s offense suffered against Boston.

      Please don’t just look at the numbers and tell me that he played well because I watched each game and he didn’t. He threw the team out of sync. Cleveland was 20-3 without Shaq last year.

  3. passerby23 - Mar 31, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    I don’t think Shaq needs to be looked to as the answer. A centre-by-committee situation (JO, Krstic, Shaq) might be enough. Shaq just needs to give them 10-12 solid minutes. His conditioning should be enough to withstand THAT.

    Boston needs to be big and bruising. If Shaq and JO can piggyback enough minutes, they’ll be ok. I’m still picking Chicago to win the East.

  4. rapmusicmademedoit - Mar 31, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    oh my gosh, Mamba will not lose any sleep over this, neither will Phil.

  5. ocgunslinger - Apr 1, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Shaq has arrived at the end of his great career. This is it for whatever he can come up with in the next 2-10 weeks. Then he is done and the fat lady is singing.

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