Cavaliers center Shaquille O'Neal had successful surgery to repair his right thumb injury this morning at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. The surgery was performed by Dr. Thomas Graham, Chief of the National Hand Center and attended by Cavaliers Head Team Physician Dr. Richard Parker from The Cleveland Clinic. O’Neal will now undergo a period of rest, treatment and rehabilitation for his right thumb. His return to play is currently estimated to be approximately eight weeks.
That would mean that Shaq is essentially out the rest of the regular season and likely the first round of the playoffs. This isn't concerning IF, and that is a big IF, Shaq stays in shape. It is his thumb, afterall, which means his physical conditioning should remain high - if he takes it seriously.
An in-shape Shaq can help the Cavaliers in the playoffs, even after the lay-off. An out-of-shape Shaq will hurt the Cavs.