Jermaine O’Neal Confirms He May Need Surgery During Season


Jan 13, 2011

Jermaine O'Neal's first season in Boston isn't going as well as he'd like it to, and its future is currently hanging in the balance.

The backup big man has played in just 17 of the Celtics' 38 games this season, and he missed Wednesday night's game against the Kings after returning to the lineup on Dec. 25. Doc Rivers didn't rule out the possibility of surgery when talking about O'Neal on Wednesday night, and O'Neal confirmed that news on WEEI on Thursday.

"[Surgery] was definitely something we talked about the first time I was out for an extended period of time [in early November]. We may be looking at that situation now," O'Neal said on The Dale and Holley Show.

O'Neal said there's no question if he needs surgery, but it's not yet known if he'll need to go under the knife during the season or if it can wait until the summer.

"We're going to make a decision on ultimately what's best for me to get better and be done with the ailment and be back on the court full time," he said.

O'Neal has more wear on his legs than an average 32-year-old, as he's been in the NBA since 1996. He's struggled to stay on the court in the past, as he missed 134 games out of a possible 492 from 2004 to 2010. That includes 40 games missed due to injury in the 2007-08 season.

In his 17 games this year, O'Neal is averaging 5.2 points and 7.5 rebounds in 18.1 minutes per game.

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