WALTHAM, Mass. — Celtics coach Doc Rivers said center Shaquille O’Neal missed Boston’s practice on Monday because the veteran center forgot the time it was scheduled to start.
“Today, we only had 11 guys,” Rivers said. “It hurts your practice because that means most of your guys are on the floor for the entire practice. That’s not the way to go. He got times mixed up, he missed one, he owes us one. We’re good.”
O’Neal’s absence comes after Rivers gave the Celtics Saturday and Sunday off to enjoy the Thanksgiving weekend.
“I was going to spank him,” Rivers joked when asked if he would punish the 7-foot-1, 325-pound O’Neal. “He may not hurt. It may hurt me.”
Rivers said punishing a player or handing out a fine sometimes depends on if they have a history of transgressions.
“You get over it,” Rivers said. “Listen, if a guy had a history, then you deal with it differently. When a guy doesn’t have a history or something, it happens. It’s life, you move on. You do whatever you do, fine (the player) or whatever all that stuff is. I never release that stuff and it’s not a big deal.”
Glen Davis took O’Neal’s spot among the starters in practice.
Rivers said guard Delonte West will have surgery on Tuesday to repair the fractured right wrist he sustained last Wednesday against New Jersey. Rivers said the team will know more about West and his timetable to return following the procedure.
Rivers said starting point guard Rajon Rondo’s left hamstring is no longer an issue, but his sore left foot still remains troublesome.
“The foot is the bigger issue. The hamstring (injury) is gone for the most part,” Rivers said.
Rondo returned Friday against Toronto after a three-game absence.