Doc Rivers: Shaquille O’Neal ‘Doing A Lot Better,’ Hopes to Practice Friday

WALTHAM, Mass. — The Celtics got two days off from practice this week in the wake of their four-game sweep over the Knicks, and that meant two days off from constant updates on the health of Shaquille O'Neal. But the C's got back to work Wednesday, and that meant another progress report on the 39-year-old big man.

"Shaq is not going to practice today, and he will not practice tomorrow," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Wednesday. "We hope that he'll practice the next day, Friday. But we don't know that. We'll see."

O'Neal missed all of the Celtics' first-round playoff series against the Knicks and has played only five total minutes since Feb. 1. The hope is that with all of this week off while the C's await their next playoff opponent, either Miami or Philadelphia, Shaq can use the extra rest to refuel for round two.

"It really depends on the date — Friday, Saturday, whatever," Rivers said of Shaq's return in the next round. "I don't know if I'm confident or not, but I'm hopeful. He's doing a lot better, I know that."

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