By A. Sherrod Blakely
NEW YORK Shaquille O'Neal was on the Madison Square Garden floor getting some stretching in this morning.
Only time will tell when he'll be back on the floor in an actual game for the Celtics.
"I don't want to talk. Let the players talk. I'm just trying to get back," O'Neal said as he left the floor following Friday morning's shootaround.
The fact that the 39-year-old is with the team on the road is a signal that O'Neal's health is improving. Although he is with the team for Games 3 and 4, Rivers said he's definitely out for tonight's Game 3 matchup and is doubtful for Game 4 on Sunday.
"He's just feeling better," Rivers said. "He's close. I don't know what he needs to show me. He's not ready to play yet, but he's getting closer. The fact that he's getting closer, you bring him on the road."
Boston leads the best-of-seven series with New York, 2-0.
There are some who believe that the C's should hold O'Neal out for the remainder of this series to ensure that he's as rested as possible for a likely second-round matchup with Miami.
Rivers said there's none of that going on right now with the Celtics sitting O'Neal who has played in a career-low 37 games this season.
"You need him when you need him," Rivers said. "There's no strategical game plan for not playing him. There's a medical game plan."
Boston also got some good news on the other O'Neal.
Jermaine O'Neal re-aggravated a left wrist injury in Boston's Game 2 matchup against the Knicks. He left the floor and went back in the locker room, but eventually returned to the floor.
"I feel good," O'Neal said.
He has been playing with some type of brace on the wrist, and added that he would continue to play with it.
O'Neal re-aggravated the injury trying to take a charge.
"I fell back on it, and irritated it a little bit," O'Neal said. "That's all it was; just tried to brace myself. In the flow of a game, you don't really determine what way you fall. I fell and it got irritated. It feels a lot better. Got some treatments on it, and I should be ready to rock tonight. "