NBA

Shaquille O'Neal doubtful for Tuesday's game

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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP)

Shaquille O'Neal's mysterious shoulder injury is expected to keep him out of Cleveland's game Tuesday against Golden State.

O'Neal, who's still receiving treatment, did not practice Monday and is considered doubtful for the game. Cavaliers coach Mike Brown would not say which shoulder was injured.

"We're not defining it anymore than just a shoulder strain," team spokesman Tad Carper said.

O'Neal was scratched minutes before Saturday's 107-103 victory against Utah. If he is unable to play Tuesday, Zydrunas Ilgauskas likely would start at center against the Warriors.

O'Neal appeared in 75 games last season for Phoenix, his most since the 1999-00 season in Los Angeles. Brown previously has said he would be careful with the 37-year-old during the regular season in order to keep him fresh for the playoffs.

"We can be cautious during this time of the year," Brown said Monday. "We're not going to rush anybody back, let alone Shaq. Even though guys may miss a few practices here and there or a few games here and there, this is the time to do it as opposed to the end of the year."

O'Neal played in two physical games last week against Orlando and Miami, scoring 10 points and grabbing four rebounds in 20 minutes against Dwight Howard and the Magic in a 102-93 win. Cleveland (7-3) has won four straight and seven of its last eight following an 0-2 start.

Cleveland plays four games in five nights this week, beginning with the Warriors on Tuesday.

"Obviously, I think we're a very, very good club," Brown said. "It's part of the ups and downs of a season when you have guys that are injured or have a sickness. We have to go out there and keep playing."

Tagged: Cavaliers

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