Monday, March 19, 2012
O'Neal to undergo season-ending surgery
By Chris Forsberg
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesJermaine O'Neal will miss the remainder of the 2011-12 season as he preps for left wrist surgery.
Boston Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal will undergo season-ending surgery on his ailing left wrist, ending his time with the team -- and maybe his career -- after two injury-plagued seasons in Boston.
The Celtics announced Monday night that O'Neal has a chronic degenerative wrist condition that was exacerbated by a fall during a game against the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 20. The wrist has not responded to immobilization and physical therapy, and the decision was made to proceed with surgery.
Inked for two years at the mid-level exception during the summer of 2010, O'Neal was limited to 49 appearances and 1,001 minutes of floor time. He averaged 5.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.
But his time in Boston will be remembered for his inability to stay on the floor, as he missed 58 games in 2010-11 because of right knee issues that required in-season surgery. This season, the knee flared again at times, but it was the lingering left wrist issue that ultimately ended his campaign after 25 appearances.
"Jermaine worked hard to get himself in condition to play this season despite his ongoing wrist issues," Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. "He played through pain the entire year and gave us all he could, but unfortunately after the fall against Dallas there simply wasn't anything else he could do. We appreciate his contributions to our team over the last two years."