Doc Rivers says Shaq may not return until playoffs

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Okay Boston fans, now you can start to really worry.

Doc Rivers pushed the timeline back for Shaq’s return from an Achilles tendon injury again, this time maybe as far back as the start of the playoffs, friend of the site A. Sherrod Blakely reports at CSN New England. (He also notes the Celtics have apparently been learning from the Bill Belichick injury reports.)

“I really hope we can get him before the playoffs,” said Rivers, who added that the injury is starting to “get close to bleeding” into the teams’ postseason plans.

While the C’s maintain there hasn’t been any setback, they do say it has taken longer to heal than anticipated (isn’t that a setback?)….

“The good thing with him is that he’s still big and strong,” Rivers said. “But that (not playing until the playoffs) would be difficult.”

This will certainly ramp up the complaints about the Kendrick Perkins trade.

The Celtics will get Jermaine O’Neal back, maybe as Thursday night against the Spurs. He will be asked to be the defensive anchor until Shaq returns. Whenever that is.