Rivers: Shaq shoots; no timeline on return

BOSTON -- Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal engaged in some shooting and light basketball exercises Wednesday, the most heightened activity he's performed recently, and coach Doc Rivers expressed optimism about the latest step in O'Neal's recovery from the right foot injuries that have sidelined him since Feb. 1.

"Shaq shot today and felt pretty good," said Rivers. "Hopefully, I don't even know what the time frame is, but the fact that he's on the floor, means sooner than later."

Including Wednesday's tilt with the Indiana Pacers, O'Neal has missed the last 18 games. One day removed from his 39th birthday, O'Neal deemed himself 85 percent during a community event at the Boston Children's Museum on March 7 and said he hoped to be back on the floor in a week.

That week passed and, even with Wednesday's light activity, it would appear that O'Neal's return is still not imminent.