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Boston C O'Neal out with tight hamstring

January 2, 2012
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BOSTON—Boston center Jermaine O'Neal was sidelined Monday night because of a tight left hamstring.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the club's trainer suggested O'Neal sit out the game against Washington. Rivers said he might be able to play against New Jersey on Wednesday.

"It's not bad," Rivers said. "With the hamstring you don't want to take any chances. With today and tomorrow, he might be able to play the next game."

The 6-foot-11 O'Neal was injured in Sunday's win at Washington.

Last season he was hampered by left knee and left wrist injuries that limited him to 24 regular season games last season. He played in each of the team's first five games, averaging seven points and nearly 3.8 rebounds.

Rookie center Greg Stiemsma made his first start in O'Neal's place.

"We're just trying to protect him by starting him with the four best players," Rivers said.

Celtics reserve forward-center Chris Wilcox was back in uniform after missing the last three games with a bruised left shoulder.

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