WALTHAM (CBS) – The Boston Celtics are hoping to get injured centers Shaquille O’Neal and Nenad Krstic back this week.
Shaq played in his first game since February 1st on Sunday against the Detroit Pistons, but lasted just over five minutes. He hobbled off the court with a calf sprain, and did not practice with the team on Monday.
Coach Doc Rivers said he hopes to have the Big Shamrock early next week and possibly even late this week.
“I know what I know, it’s just a calf strain,” Rivers said of Shaq’s injury. “Not that bad, not that severe.”
Doc Rivers Talks Shaq’s Newest Injury
“We’re going to do whatever they tell us is required,” Rivers said of the possibility they shut O’Neal down for the rest of the regular season. “Other than that I’d love to play him a couple games.”
“I was probably going to play him three or four games, tops,” Doc said of his plan for Shaq prior to his latest injury. “It is a setback though.”
O’Neal scored six points, going three-for-three from the field, and pulled down one rebound in his brief return.
Nenad Krstic, who has missed the last two games with a bone bruise in his right knee, could return Tuesday when the Celtics host the Philadelphia 76ers.
“I thought Nenad was tentative,” Rivers said of Krstic at practice on Monday. “But he got through the whole practice and that was great. We’ll see tomorrow.”
Rivers said forward Troy Murphy could also return from an ankle injury on Tuesday.