OAKLAND -- Jermaine O'Neal has been playing with a sprained right wrist, which is technically a tear of the ligaments, but there are no plans for the Warriors backup center to have surgery.
The severity of the injury is unknown, as the Warriors aren't saying. O'Neal, according to team sources, has had the wrist checked out a few times, the latest examination coming Monday.
O'Neal first revealed his wrist was bothering him Nov. 26. He had just put up season-highs in points (18) and rebounds (eight) while starting in place of suspended Andrew Bogut in a Warriors win at New Orleans. It was his first game back since a right groin strain and bruised right knee knocked him out of action for four games.
Team sources said O'Neal doesn't plan on exploring surgery until after this season. At this point, it appears to be a matter of pain tolerance for the 18-year NBA veteran.
So far, so good. In his last five games since returning to action, O'Neal is averaging 9.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in just over 22 minutes.
Losing O'Neal would be a significant blow to the Warriors. Starter Bogut is a constant injury concern and Festus Ezeli and rookie Ognjen Kuzmic are injured and likely won't be back before January.
Warriors (11-8) at Houston (13-7), 5 p.m. CSNBA