When Jermaine O'Neal underwent surgery on Feb. 4 to repair his injured left knee, Celtics exec Danny Ainge gave an estimate of six to eight weeks before the veteran big man returned to game action. He wasn't lying — O'Neal is now on track to return on Thursday against the Spurs, eight weeks after the operation.
O'Neal met the team on Monday in Indiana, in the middle of a four-game road trip. He was able to take the floor prior to the Celtics' game against the Pacers for some light shooting, and all went well. He plans to take the floor Wednesday for his first full practice, then play on Thursday night in San Antonio.
O'Neal has missed 55 of the Celtics' first 72 games this season with various knee ailments, but he still hopes to return and contribute to the C's playoff run.
The other O'Neal is due back sometime within the next week, as well. Shaquille O'Neal also hopes to be in tip-top shape for the postseason.