Strange article. I wouldn't normally even post anything from Hoopsworld, but JO is quoted. Have at it:
The "Real" Story Behind O'Neal's Injury
By: Jessica Camerato
Don't call Jermaine O'Neal injury-prone. Despite recently sitting out 33 games with a knee injury, he doesn't think that term applies to him. He has a better explanation for his time away from the court, one that he purposely kept a secret from the media.
"It's not even injury prone," O'Neal asserted on Wednesday following his second game back. "It's a situation where I decided to sit out 33 games. It's a situation where I played on a torn meniscus after I tore it and we didn't tell you guys. I asked the staff not to tell anybody about it."
Last April O'Neal underwent season ending surgery to repair a tear in his left knee. He dedicated his summer to rehabilitation and was anxious to get back on to the court. O'Neal was back in the starting lineup in just the second game of this season. By January he was sidelined.
"I came back this year after the surgery, wanted to get started early," he said. "[I] wound up coming back a tad bit too early and it affected my progress on coming back from surgery."
O'Neal's eagerness left him stranded on the bench while his team slipped through the cracks of the Eastern Conference. Now the Pacers are four games out of the last spot in the east with seven games remaining. O'Neal's immediate goal is making the playoffs but he knows he has long-term work ahead of him.
"It's been a hard year for myself and I'm just trying to finish the season, really test the knee out, and try to put this behind me," he said. "I've dealt with it two years in a row. I finally took the time out to do the things I really needed to do to go and get it healthy and get myself prepared for next year."
As a precaution, O'Neal is limited to 20 minutes a night. He's averaging 10.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in his first two games back and thinks he is helping the Pacers on the defensive end. Now that he's back on the floor, how does O'Neal rate his health?
"Doesn't matter right now," he said. "Doesn't matter right now."
Is another secret being kept?