Shaquille O'Neal Trying to 'Move Without Crutches' One Week After Hip Surgery, Vows to Get Back in the Gym

“I definitely got to start working out today,” the retired NBA star tells PEOPLE. “So hopefully this summer, you'll see a couple billboards of me with my shirt off”

Shaquille O'Neal attends HBO Premiere For Four-Part Documentary "SHAQ" at Illuminarium on November 14, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.(Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage)
Shaquille O'Neal. Photo: Prince Williams/Wireimage

Shaquille O'Neal is hoping to get back in the gym after having hip surgery.

The retired NBA star, 51, spoke to PEOPLE about getting back on track with his weight loss journey just one week after having the surgery.

"I just had to take a couple weeks off because I had to get this hip surgery, but I'm going to jump back on," he tells PEOPLE. "So hopefully this summer, you'll see a couple billboards of me with my shirt off."

O'Neal — an ambassador for Novex Biotech's line of men's performance products — has already lost 40 lbs. since starting his weight loss journey and is 20 lbs. away from reaching his "ultimate" goal weight. The former Lakers player admits that although he has to take time to recover from the hip surgery, he's feeling good about staying in shape moving forward.

"I think it's a blessing in disguise because I can't move around a lot, but my gym is at the house," he explains. "So I know I don't want to put on any pounds right now, so I gotta wake up every day, take my medicine and when I go to the gym and do my rehab, I'm going to get some weights and some cardio in."

"I had the surgery last Thursday, so today marks a week so I'm going to see if I can move without the crutches, but I definitely got to start working out today," O'Neal says. "I don't like to talk about it. I like to show."

Shaq in the hospital

Earlier this week, O'Neal told fans he was doing just fine a day after he posted a photo to his social media accounts showing him in a hospital bed with an IV attached to his arm.

O'Neal hopped on Twitter with a comedic throwback video of him in a Lakers jersey, his buttocks on full display. The video was edited to show off a distorted view of his rear end with a remix of Adele's "Hello" playing over the footage.

"To all the people who are worried and concerned. first off, let me say thank you," wrote the NBA on TNT co-host before he joked, "And lastly no need to worry, just had to get some BBL WORK AKA #hipreplacement. Thanks and love you all. but no need to worry and yes i'm fine."

The athlete concerned many fans when he shared the hospital photo on Sunday.

He tagged two of his TNT co-hosts, Candace Parker and Ernie Johnson, in the photo and told them he's "always watching" them, even in the hospital.

"Miss y'all," O'Neal added.

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