Shaq has surgery, expected to miss four to six weeks
The procedure lasted about 45 minutes, and was performed by team physician Dr. Harlan Selesnick. O'Neal tore cartilage in his left knee Nov. 12 against Houston, an injury originally diagnosed as a hyperextended knee.
Last season, O'Neal sprained his ankle in Miami's home opener and missed the next 18 games. He sat out a total of 23 games, and the Heat went 10-13 without him before their postseason charge to the NBA title.
"I kind of knew something was wrong with him," teammate Dwyane Wade said on Friday. "It's important for him to get it taken care of, because we need him down the stretch."
The 13-time All-Star averaged 14.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in his first four games for the defending NBA champions. He is expected to begin rehabilitation this week.
The Heat are 1-1 since their big guy went down. The were crushed by the Knicks at home on Friday but bounced back to beat the Hawks in overtime on Saturday night.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press