Boston Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal joined his teammates for Thursday's flight to New York in advance of Friday's Game 3 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the New York Knicks. . .
During Wednesday's practice at the Sports Authority Training Center in Waltham, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that Shaq's ability to travel would suggest he might be able to play again as early as Sunday's Game 4 in New York.
"If he's closer to playing -- you know how we've done it -- if you see him on the trip he's really close," Rivers said Wednesday.
Later, Rivers added: "If he goes on the trip, that means we think he'll play that Sunday."
That's definitely reason to be optimistic, especially after we were just hearing that Shaq's season might be over. At the same time, the last time we heard that Shaq was traveling with the team, it was another several weeks before he was on the court again. So pretty much, we know nothing new that's definitive. But, hey, it's reason to be encouraged, at least.