MIAMI -- Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal returns to action Thursday night in Miami, tagging in as teammate Jermaine O'Neal prepares to sit out the remainder of the rest of the road trip amidst uncertainty around injured knee.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers admitted he's uncertain how many minutes he'll get out of Shaq, who has missed the last five games after suffering a bruised right knee in a collision with New York's Amare Stoudemire last month, but will inject him into the starting lineup and see what happens.
"I really don’t know," Rivers said when asked about a minutes projection. "I can’t imagine a lot, honestly. He had half a practice yesterday and so we’ll see. We'll see how far we can stretch his lungs and go from there."
After subbing for Shaq for the last five games, Jermaine O'Neal will sit as he prepares for a second opinion with Miami-area doctors Thursday, hoping to diagnose his sore left knee. A trouble spot ever since he tore his left meniscus in Indiana, Jermaine O'Neal has endured a series of flareups since arriving in Boston, the first in a loss at Cleveland on the second night of the season, forcing him to miss a game. He returned in order to fill Shaq's void, but will now see what those maybe more familiar with his medical history think is happening.
"I’m going to get a second opinion, just a thing that a player should do," said Jermaine O'Neal. "Obviously, I believe in our staff a lot, I support our doctors and we have some of the best doctors in the world. But i just want to get a different opinion. See if everybody's on the same page. This is the third time it’s blown up on me, so i have to do something.
"Obviously, I'm new to the team. I know our doctors have checked over my records, but being [in Miami] for two years, they dealt with it and I didn’t have any issues when I was here. [The knee] was strong, so I'm just kinda getting their opinion, then putting it with our doctors and getting them together for a conclusion on why the knee is blowing up the way it’s blowing up."