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JERMAINE O’NEAL WILL NOT RETURN AND THE CELTICS WILL MOVE INTO THE MARKET
Thu, 22 Mar 2012 12:14 PM EDT

Boston Celtics center Jermaine O’Neal will bear season-ending surgery on his hurting left wrist, ending his time with the team – and perhaps his career – after 2 injury-plagued seasons in Boston. NFL scores

The Celtics commented O’Neal has a prolonged degenerative wrist condition that was heightened by a fall during a game against the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 20. The wrist has not responded to immobilization and physical treatment, and the choice was made to continue with surgical treatment.

Inked for 2 years at the mid-level exception in the summer of 2010, O’Neal was restricted to 49 appearances and 1,001 minutes of floor time. He averaged 5.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. NFL odds

But his time in Boston will be remembered for his inability to stay on the floor, as he missed 58 games in 2010-11 because of left knee issues that required in-season surgery. This season, the knee flared once again occasionally although it was the lingering left wrist issue that eventually stopped his campaign after 25 appearances.

“Jermaine worked hard to get himself in condition to play this season despite his ongoing wrist issues,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge claimed. “He played thru pain the whole year and gave us all he could, but unfortunately after the fall against Dallas there simply wasn’t anything else he could do. We admire his contributions to our team over the last 2 years.”

Celtics coach Doc Rivers maintained last week that he didn’t believe O’Neal might be back with the team this season due to his injuries.

“I believed that the whole time honestly,” Rivers declared. “I give him a lot of credit. He did what he needed to do — I mean he attempted. You just know when [the doctors] say you doubtless should have surgery, and then they say, ‘Well, let’s see whether we could … ‘ you know where that is going.

“But I give him a lot of credit. I just thought he attempted to do whatever he could do. The doctors realized that there was no way.”

O’Neal has asserted in the past he was unsure if he’d play beyond this season and the injury problems seem to have left the previous preps-to-pro phenom to ponder hanging up his hightops after 16 NBA seasons.

The 33-year-old O’Neal originally injured his left wrist taking a charge in Toronto during the preseason of 2010. He worsened the injury in the 1st round of the playoffs last year against the New York Knicks and again while taking a charge against the Mavericks before the All-Star break.

The Celtics could expedite a buyout with O’Neal in order to free a line-up spot for a sorely needed big man.

One choice the Celtics are considering is veteran big man Ronny Turiaf, who secured his released from the Denver Nuggets over the weekend and expects to choose a new team when he clears waivers, agent Mark Bartelstein expounded.

Turiaf, 29 year-old, is being pursued by a handful of teams led by the Celtics and Miami Heat. He hasn’t played since January 1st when he broke his left hand for the 2nd time in the year. But Bartelstein claimed he has been cleared to play.


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