04/12/2011 12:06 pm ET | Updated Jun 12, 2011

Shaquille O'Neal Will Return For NBA Playoffs, Says Celtics President Danny Ainge

After missing 27 games with a sore right leg, Shaquille O'Neal returned to the Celtics lineup earlier this month. Unfortunately, O'Neal played less than 5 1/2 minutes after injuring his right calf muscle and it looked like he might miss the playoffs.

Celtics president Danny Ainge suggested otherwise.

Speaking with Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe on Monday afternoon, Ainge said O'Neal is expected to practice on Thursday and play in Game 1 against the New York Knicks.

"We're planning as of right now of him practicing Thursday or Friday and being ready to play for Game 1 of the playoffs," Ainge said. "I have every confidence that he will be ready and play in the playoffs."

He also said that Shaq will not play in the regular season finale against the Knicks on Wednesday.