Shaquille O'Neal made the trip to Oklahoma City with the Boston Celtics, but will not play Sunday night against the Thunder, head coach Doc Rivers confirmed.
O'Neal has missed the team's past three games and hasn't played since the Oct. 29 game against the Knicks because of a bruised right knee. Both Rivers and Shaq are hoping he'll be able to play at some point on the Celtics' four-game road trip, but nothing is certain, and the coach won't push his player.
"When I got on the plane, Shaq came on the plane," said Rivers. "That's how much decision I made in it. I don't even ask. I never do. If he's healthy, he comes. If he's not, he doesn't. If he thinks he has a chance to play -- and that's between him and [Celtics trainer] Eddie [Lacerte], then he comes. But I never get involved in that. At least I try not to. I don't ever want a player to feel like I'm pushing him."
Shaq said, "I'm always going on the trip, unless it's one of those 'out for four-to-five week' diagnosis," adding that he doesn't want to play unless he's "at least [at] 80 percent."
Boston will dress 11 players against the Thunder.