Shaq departs with sore leg

January, 21, 2011
1/21/11
9:15
PM ET
Comcast SportsNet ScreenshotCeltics center Shaquille O'Neal departed Friday's game with a right leg injury.
BOSTON -- Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal suffered what the team termed a "sore right leg" and will not return to Friday's game against the Utah Jazz.

O'Neal started at center and logged a mere 6:19 of court time before being replaced by Glen Davis at the first timeout. That's not exactly an usual shift for O'Neal, but after completing a breakaway slam with 6:01 to play in the frame, he appeared to point at the bench as if asking to be subbed out. He did not return.

Semih Erden took O'Neal's place with the starters at the start of the second half. Boston is already playing without Jermaine O'Neal (sore left knee) and Kendrick Perkins (right ACL tear).

O'Neal made the only shot he took -- that breakaway dunk off a feed from Rajon Rondo -- while adding an assist during his brief time on the court.

O'Neal has missed a total of nine games with right leg ailments, including five games due to a sore right calf and four games due to a bruised right knee (or "fibula head" as he termed it).

Before Friday's injury, O'Neal put together three turn-back-the-clock performances in a row, single-handedly sparking the Celtics in Wednesday's win over the Charlotte Bobcats.

O'Neal entered Friday's game averaging 10.2 points and 5.1 rebounds over 21.8 minutes per game.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
16.8 1.7 0.7 34.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksK. Humphries 0.9