- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 23, 2011

OAKLAND, CALIF. (AP) - Shaquille O’Neal is rehabbing his injured right leg near his Florida home and is not expected to rejoin the Boston Celtics until after their West Coast trip.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers says O’Neal has slimmed down slightly and is close to making his return. Boston began a four-game road swing at Golden State on Tuesday night, the seventh straight game O’Neal has missed.

Rivers said it was possible that O’Neal could rejoin the team on the road. But he said it was more likely the 38-year-old center wouldn’t play until Boston returns home March 2 against Phoenix.

Fellow center Jermaine O’Neal also is expected to be out until early April. Kendrick Perkins, the starting center on last season’s NBA finals team, will continue to start.

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