Friday, February 26th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  28 responses

Shaq and His ‘Significant’ Thumb Injury

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

On the initial viewing, the play looked innocuous enough. But moments after Shaquille O’Neal made his way to the locker room last night, the Cavs announced that not only was Shaq done for the evening, but he could be out of action for a quite a bit of time.

For the time being, the sprain to his right thumb is considered “significant”, but until further tests are done, no one knows for sure how long Cleveland will be without their starting center.

The AP grabbed the initial reactions:

Coach Mike Brown said O’Neal will miss the Cavs’ game Friday night at Toronto. “I don’t know how long Shaq will be out,” Brown said after the 108-88 victory over Boston. “He’ll see the doctor and it will go from there.”

Brown could not say how O’Neal was hurt, but it appeared to be when Glen “Big Baby” Davis blocked his shot with just over 7 minutes left in the first half. The Cavaliers called a timeout soon after to take O’Neal out of the game, and they later issued an injury report saying he had a “significant right thumb sprain” and would not return. O’Neal was not available for comment after the game.

“We need him out there,” Cavaliers forward LeBron James said. “We play faster without Shaq in the lineup … but in the playoffs you can’t play fast all the time. You need to establish the half-court offense. That’s what he does for us.”

Though Cleveland was able to go small in the second half last night in Boston, and use their defensive quickness to turn the game around on their way to victory, they could really be in trouble without a presence down low for an extended period of time.

Oh, what’s that? Big Z is coming back in a few weeks? Right, never mind.

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  • Justin

    Hmmm…depending on how long we’re talking here they can’t get Z back quick enough now

  • T-Money

    What the hell is ‘significant’? 1 week, 3 weeks, 6 weeks? As Chuck said, they actually only need Shaq vs ORL and LAL. You can’t play small ball against those teams becasue their 4-5s are very big and very mobile thus negating any quickness advantage that Andy or JJ would have whilst punishing them down low.

  • nastierthanu2

    The big “opposable”

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Shaq always likes to get 20 games of rest as it is each season….so coming back the last week or two of the season to get his timimg back will have him fresh for the playoffs. Not surprised. HOWEVA….this leaves the door open for the Lakers to make up the game difference seperating them for home court.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2010/02/tracy-mcgrady-hurt-yes-already-again/ L

    LOL nastierthanu2. Huh this makes Z’s return to Cleveland evermore important

  • texaspete

    big z doesn;t really play down low. he is more of a pick and pop guy.

  • JoeMaMa

    Shaquille O’Neal can no longer thumb his nose at Gilbert Arenas. Or thumb his woman. Yes…I will continue to go there.

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling chiqo

    bobby jackson is somewhere feeling good about all of this.

  • http://slamonline.com YKnot

    The big digit!

  • vmcb

    my raptors tickets are looking lame now. crossing my fingers for bosh!

  • http://www.boogiewilliams.com Boing Dynasty

    Ya Tickets to watch LBJ, everyone feel bad for you.
    I had to change the channel when reggie dedided to take 2 or 3 minutes of the broadcast to try and figure out in his own mind the difference between mild, severe and extreme.

  • http://slamonline.com CB 34

    Anybody else notice the replay of the play right after glen’s foul on shaq? It clearly showed glen grabbing onto the injured thumb of shaq, pulling on it. Shaq left right after that play. What a b!tch a$$ move. Shaq should have elbowed him on the next play before coming out.

  • Cizzo

    I don’t like the Cav’s!!!!

  • Rob

    Kobe would play through it…YOU BIG FAT CRYBABY!!!

  • underdog

    @CB34 – Yes Big Baby pulled some of Shaq’s fingers, but I don’t think he was aware of the injury than.

  • Joey E.

    LeBron locked up MVP once the Cavs got their first win of the season. Now he officially closes the race. he’s going to be averaging like 40/15/15 without Shaq and Z

  • barnabusb

    This gives Shaq some extra time to eat a lot of donuts and hamburgers.

  • ENDS

    Reminds me when Matt Gieger broke Shaq’s Same thumb in 96 on a similar looking play.

  • fizzrocket

    I wanna see Ilgauskas sign with the Nuggets or Mavericks just to piss off the Cavs, lol.

  • http://www.realultimatepower.net doyouwantmore

    Hmmm…Shaq’s out for an indefinite amount of time. Like, maybe, until shortly before the playoffs?

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    Just more time to spend with Arenas’ fiance.

  • barnabusb

    Boom. Anton wins.

  • http://slamonline.com Dave

    Trading a guy only to get him back for less money later in the season?
    Thumb don’t lie.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    matt geiger? wow, i thought that name disappeared off into the cosmos. wasnt that the dude that took steroids?


    Clearly Davis intentionally grabbed and twisted the thumb after the play in which it was injured. Of course he knew it was injured. Why else would he twist it. Plus Shaq was flexing and rubbing it after it was hit. More dirty play from the Celtics which, as usual, will go unpunished.

  • Rusty



    Take ur Time coming bac

  • http://theurbangriot.com/ NUPE

    This is just giving the Cavs a new look offense that may come in handy down the road. Shaq and Big Z are clearly needed against teams like the Magic and Lakers but aren’t ‘needed’ as much against other teams. This will get Powe some extra minutes to get integrated into the system. I’m not sure how effective he can be coming back from his injury, and Andy and Jamison on the floor at the same time are interesting to watch. The Raptors without Bosh shouldn’t have been so difficult, so it will be a big adjustment for the Cavs and they may become better from it.