Shaquille O'Neal underwent successful surgery on his right thumb this morning. After a period of rest, he will rehab the injury, and at this point, he is expected to miss eight weeks.
That would be roughly around the second round of the NBA playoffs.
''The doctors were very pleased with the surgery this morning. He will be in a splint for the next 2 weeks. From there he starts the process of physical therapy so that he can be at full strength and back on the court during the playoffs,'' said Cavs General Manager Danny Ferry.
In the meantime, the Cavs will be forced to go with a smaller lineup in O'Neal's absence, with Anderson Varejao starting at center.
''Our guys have done a very good job of stepping up this season. We are confident they will do the same in this situation. Anderson has been terrific. J.J. has been a contributor all season and continues to have solid growth. Leon is returning and will now get a good window to contribute,'' Ferry said. ''We are fortunate to have some depth in our front court that can keep us moving forward while Shaq recovers and returns to play for the post season."
O'Neal is fourth on the team averaging 12 points per game. He is also averaging 6.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, averaging just over 23 minutes a night.
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