Injury updates; Robinson starts

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he hopes to have Shaquille O’Neal back for Sunday’s game vs. Indiana. O’Neal’s presence would be a big lift for a team starting an injured Semih Erden at center.

Rivers said Jermaine O’Neal could practice this weekend but is not likely to play Sunday. Rivers said he has not even seen O’Neal play yet but said that he’s been encouraged by pain-free reports of O’Neal’s workouts.

“If guys say they can play, we’re throwing them in,” said Rivers. “It’s not like we have a choice, practice or not. The day J.O. says I think I can play, I’m playing him that night. We need minutes right now.”

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In the absence of Rajon Rondo tonight, Rivers said Nate Robinson will get the start. After that it’s point guard by committee. Rivers did not rule out using rookie Avery Bradley, though Ray Allen and Marquis Daniels could also bring the ball up.

“Nate is going to have to play a ton of minutes,” said Rivers. “If he gets into foul trouble or anything, that’s where we struggle. Each position is getting thinner and thinner right now with this group.”

As for Rondo, Rivers gave the same report as Celtics GM Danny Ainge this afternoon, saying Rondo would be out a week or two.