Jermaine O’Neal opted not to have surgery, meaning he will begin a four-week rehabilitation process to “build up his glutes and quads.”
“The surgery that we were considering, by the way, was just a cleaning out,” said Danny Ainge. “There’s not ligament or cartilage damage that was going to be prepared; it was a cleaning out process. We decided against that, we’ll take the next four weeks to do nothing but work to build up his glutes and quads, with the sole purpose of that. So he’ll be rehabbing to build strength in his leg to get ready for the end of the season.”
“No, this is a good option,” added Ainge. “I mean, we felt — either way we thought he might be back for the playoffs. If he cleaned it out or if he didn’t. You know, again, it’s just he’s got a lot of wear-and-tear on the knee. But this is a good option. I think he feels like if he gets himself in better shape, and the strength, then he’ll be ready to give us an effort that we haven’t seen this year out of him.
Ainge said O’Neal’s could require surgery surgery after the season.
“I would say that that’s probable, but not certain,” he said.
The decision to rehab rather than undergo surgery was O’Neal’s alone, but team doctor Brian McKeon “was fine with it,” according to Ainge.
“I would say the purpose is to get him ready to play in late-season and postseason play, with no restrictions. I mean his first night there might be, but the purpose is to get him back to 100%,” said Ainge.
“He’s got some bruising from the bone on bone that he has in his knee. He just needs to let that calm down, and build up the strength in it,” Ainge added.
“I think the wear and tear on the knee, he might have overdone it,” said Ainge. “Wasn’t in as good a shape as he could have been. Maybe came back a little too soon. I mean, all those things are possibilities. But you know he got a second opinion from a doctor in New York and our medical staff think that he should be back without restriction.”
Ainge acknowledged that O’Neal isn’t in the best of shape. But the six-time All-Star plans to change that.
“I think when you’re out with a bad knee, it’s tough to condition basketball wise,” Ainge said. “I mean, he was on the treadmill, the non-weight bearing treadmill, the swimming pool, a lot of things like that.
“But it’s not the same, but I think that Jermaine has a plan to get himself in great shape, and build the strength up so he’ll be able to withstand the rigors of playing the last couple months of basketball.”
For those of you counting at home, four weeks now remain until O’Neal’s NEXT injury.
I’m only kidding.