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Shaq recovering from hip replacement surgery after hospital photo causes stir

Shaquille O’Neal has posted a photograph of himself in a hospital bed, sparking concern among fans for the ‘NBA on TNT’ co-host.

The Basketball Hall of Famer sent a message to his fellow TNT co-hosts, Ernie Johnson and Candace Parker.

“I’m always watching @TurnerSportsEJ and @Candace_Parker miss y’all,” 

O’Neal wrote on Twitter

Ken Fang, an editor for Awful Announcing, said on Twitter that Johnson had mentioned during Turner’s March Madness coverage that O’Neal’s surgery involved his hip.

The 51-year-old tagged Johnson and Candace Parker, his fellow TNT commentators, in the tweet writing, “Miss y’all.”

“Love ya big Fella,” Parker said in response to the tweet.

Prior to the hospital photo, Shaq tweeted at Parker directly, referencing her newscast with Johnson from that night: “BARBECUE CHICKEN ALERT BARBECUE CHICKEN ALERT,” after Parker used the phrase on-air.

The tweet earned an on-screen mention during TNT’s March Madness coverage on Sunday, with Johnson editorializing, “Shaq’s got a little time on his hands!” before wishing him the best in his recovery.

Earlier this month, O’Neal discussed the surgery on his podcast, and said he was hopeful to return to the gym and his diet next month.

“I’ll be back April 16, and I’m going in,” O’Neal said on “The Big Podcast with Shaq.”

“I’m going to try and lose 30 pounds and I’m going to try and get an eight-pack. Right now I got a little five-pack.”

The NBA legend explained that he’s going to follow a “51 diet,” which he said is “five BS meals and one meal.”

O’Neal’s five meals include: a shake for breakfast; a fruit plate; four chicken breasts with ketchup; a salad; and a shake.

“I’m going to do that for 90 days,” O’Neal said. “I’m about to be shredded.”

O’Neal has been open about his weight loss journey, and revealed last October that he was down 36 pounds.

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Written by Jamil Johnson