It comes sooner than the Celtics planned, but six games into his comeback from ACL surgery, Kendrick Perkins will get his first start of the season, reclaiming his starting spot by default from Shaquille O'Neal, who will miss tonight's game with an inflamed Achilles'.
O'Neal, who's been nagged by foot, calf and knee issues throughout the season, will miss his 13th game and Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he didn't expect O'Neal to be ready to play by Sunday for the Celtics afternoon appointment with the Orlando Magic.
It’s a concern enough not to play him. I don’t know if he’s going to play this entire weekend. It’s at least that much of a concern. Other than that, I don’t really know how much.
They also call it a foot. You have to walk on your foot with all those pounds. I think anything, when you’re that big, there has to be some kind of stress. I would say the knees would probably take more of it.
Since returning against the Cavaliers two weeks ago, Perkins vitals have been strong. He's averaging 8 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes a night. Still, Rivers wasn't pleased by the circumstances that re-inserted Perkins into the starting lineup.
"I wanted to wait a little bit, honestly, but it is what it is," Rivers said. "I don’t know if it’s a good one, but it is what we’re going to do."