On Monday, Celtics fans got a bit of a scare when they learned that starting center Jermaine O'Neal had been scratched from the lineup due to a sore left hamstring and replaced by Greg Stiemsma. Even though he was unable to go on Monday night, O'Neal insists that he's OK.
"No, not it's not an injury," O'Neal said. "I got here with the intentions on playing. Ed Lacerte went through the regular routine of our pregame [stretching]. It's still sore. It's been sore the last three days. He just thought that just based off our schedule, he'd prefer for me not to play." (via WEEI)
Despite missing the game, O'Neal said he tried convince head coach Doc Rivers to let him play, but was advised otherwise by team trainer Ed Lecerte. As a result, O'Neal will look to get clearance to play Wednesday night against the New Jersey Nets.
"I came to the arena with the thought process that I was playing. He had a conversation with Doc and sometimes players get trumped with whatever decision they have. It's not a hamstring pull or anything like that. And the fact of the matter [is] I'll be ready to go come Wednesday." (via WEEI)