O'Neal suffers bone bruise ... and is relieved

BOSTON -- Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal said he underwent an MRI Saturday in fear of a possible meniscus tear, but breathed a sigh of relief when tests revealed merely a bone bruise.

O'Neal played in Sunday's win over the Grizzlies, chipping in four points, seven rebounds, and two blocked shots over 25 minutes, 20 seconds of action.

"[The MRI] actually turned out pretty good," said O'Neal. "I still have a bone bruise, [but] I was pretty pleased with that because we were little nervous it was [a meniscus tear]. I told you guys, we’re never going to be healthy. Things are going to come up and you just have to come out and give what you can give. That’s what I try to do."

O'Neal, who missed 58 games and required left knee surgery last season, missed three games last month while dealing with a bone bruise on his left knee after absorbing a charge from Orlando's Hedu Turkoglu. That injury has actually healed, he said, but now he's dealing with the right knee bruise that occurred Friday while simply running down the court in the second half against the Knicks.

"I stopped and my leg slipped, so my knee buckled a little bit, so I had a little bit of a pinch," said O'Neal. "So that was something that was a little bit of a concern because I woke up the next day -- actually, it was starting to swell a little bit after the game -- but then the next day it was really painful. So they wanted to get a picture of it and the biggest thing for me is not being a meniscus tear. That was kinda the doomsday thing for me. When I got the call that it was a bone bruise, it was like, ‘I can play through that.’ A meniscus tear, those are tough to play through."

O'Neal actually returned the locker room during the second half of Sunday's game against the Grizzlies, but laughed while noting it was simply because he suffered a cut and had bled on his uniform, forcing him to change his gear before he could return to the floor.

That, of course, is the least of his injury woes.

"I’m around-the-clock therapy," he said. "I think the owners and training staff will let me borrow all their stem machines and boots to get the swelling down. That’s how the season is. Guys are getting therapy around the clock, just to play. The games -- it seems like as soon as you lie down, it’s time to play again. So, it’s about getting legs fresh, getting therapy in. And I’ll be fine. I'll take [the bone bruise] the same way I took the left knee."