Shaquille O’Neal Out Again With Strained Calf

With the Playoffs looming, Shaq’s return to the Celtics’ lineup lasted a whole of five and a half minutes. Now, he’s likely back on the Chillin’ List. From the Boston Herald: “After missing the previous 27 games with a sore right Achilles tendon, O’Neal was brilliant at first glance last night against the Detroit Pistons. But he left the game 49 seconds into the second quarter with a strained right calf (the team emphasized that it was the calf, not the Achilles tendon — but it’s hard to believe the previous problem and this one are not related). After limping off the court, O’Neal’s return was at first listed as ‘uncertain,’ but when he didn’t come out for the second half, it was announced he was out for the night. The Celts went on to win, 101-90. The latest injury occurred in rather mundane fashion. The C’s were coming back up the court after Jeff Green blocked a Jason Maxiell attempt. O’Neal crossed the top of the key in the backcourt and turned back as if he believed he’d stepped on something. Then he pulled up in obvious pain. O’Neal limped toward the exit at the far end of the court, bracing himself on the table at the end of the Celtic bench for a moment before continuing. Trainer Ed Lacerte followed him out, and they were joined just inside the tunnel by team physician Dr. Brian McKeon. O’Neal was hunched over in pain, but he was moved around the corner to avoid the gaze of those who could see down the entryway. Clearly angry, O’Neal knocked over a barrel as he was examined further. A wheelchair was brought for him, but O’Neal reportedly refused to use it to make the trip back to the trainer’s room. So ended a night that perhaps couldn’t have been better to that point — for O’Neal or the Celts.”