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Shaq could be back before season ends

When Shaquille O’Neal is motivated, he is still a force of nature. Those moments seem fewer and fewer with each passing year, but they do happen.

And in a sign he is serious about getting another ring -- just to piss Kobe off? -- the man has been serious about his rehab and now appears ready to return before the end of the season. At least that’s what Shaq told Associated Press.

Looking remarkably fit, O’Neal, who has been out since tearing a ligament in his thumb on Feb. 25 and having surgery, said he plans to resume basketball activities soon. He said his thumb is “good” and that he’s looking forward to getting back on the court. The Cavs had expected O’Neal to miss the remainder of the regular season, but the iconic superstar sounded as if he might be back before the April 14 finale at Atlanta.

“I will be ready,” said O’Neal, who has kept a low profile since getting hurt.
A fit, motivated Shaq would solidify the Cavaliers as favorites for the title. But first, he is going to have to prove at some point he can defend the pick and roll.