Shaquille O'Neal will undergo surgery to repair ligaments in his sprained right thumb.
O'Neal flew to Baltimore lead team physician Dr. Richard Parker to be examined at the National Hand Center. The Center's Dr. Thomas Graham will perform the surgery assisted by Parker.
It was determined that the best course of action would be surgery that will end the 7-foot-3 center's regular season.
A source with knowledge of the situation said that O'Neal will miss 6-9 weeks but should be available for the playoffs.
O'Neal injured the thumb during Thursday's game against the Boston Celtics. It now means that abundance of big men that caused minute problems just a week ago has turned into a huge advantage.
In his place expect to see more of Leon Powe and J.J. Hickson both playing at the power forward spot and center, positions that are interchangeable in coach Mike Brown's offense.