The 38-year-old center has missed the C's last five games, and eight of their last 11, due to an inflamed Achilles' tendon. While the team originally expected a day-to-day absence while Shaq got over the injury, it's now clear that he won't play until after the All-Star break. That means at least a three-week absence total — the big man hasn't played since Feb. 1.
"Shaq honestly is just not healing right now," Doc Rivers said. "Now we're hoping [he can return] after the break at some point. When he first injured it, we all thought it was a one- or two-game thing, and now it's been longer."
O'Neal sat out with the injury for the first time on Jan. 22 and missed three games at the end of January. He then came back and played three, including the C's Jan. 30 win over the Lakers, but he's now missed five straight contests.
He won't be in action Wednesday, when the C's host the New Jersey Nets. Then after the All-Star weekend, the team hits the road for four games out West in seven days, starting at Golden State. It's unclear whether Shaq will be ready.
"It's getting to the point where we're not sure if he'll play on the West Coast trip or not," Rivers said.
"We're hoping he will. Right now we think he will — maybe not every game, maybe every other game."
The Celtics visit the Warriors, Nuggets, Clippers and Jazz at the end of February before returning home on March 2 to face the Suns.
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