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Shaq is back for Celtics in Game 3 vs. Heat

Shaquille O'Neal is back in action for the Boston Celtics.

The 7-foot-1 center checked into Game 3 of Boston's Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Miami Heat with 2:41 left in the first quarter Saturday. He received a big cheer when he went to the scorer's table, and a standing ovation when he went into the game.

It was his first action of the 2011 playoffs.

O'Neal has played just 5 minutes, 29 seconds since Feb. 1 because of injuries to his right calf and Achilles' tendon.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

BOSTON (AP) — Shaquille O'Neal is ready for Game 3 of Boston's Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Miami Heat.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before Saturday night's game that O'Neal was cleared to play for the first time in the 2011 playoffs.

Rivers said O'Neal will come off the bench. The coach didn't know how much to expect from the 7-foot-1 center.

O'Neal has played just 5 minutes, 29 seconds since Feb. 1 because of injuries to his right calf and Achilles' tendon.