O'Neal out 6-8 weeks after surgery

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 9:40 AM ET

Boston, MA - Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge announced after a 101-97 loss to the Dallas Mavericks Friday night that center/forward Jermaine O'Neal went arthroscopic surgery on his left knee earlier in the day and will be out 6-8 weeks.

It was originally thought that O'Neal would not need surgery, but the problematic knee wasn't progressing in a fashion that was satisfactory for the player or team.

"Surgery went fine and we're hoping that helps alleviate the swelling he was getting with extra activity," Ainge said.

O'Neal, who hasn't played since January 10, averaged 5.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in 17 games (five starts) this season.

The team is hoping for an early April return.

"I think it could be something he could be dealing with next season," Ainge said. "Whenever you have arthritis in your knee and there's bone on bone there's a long-term issue there. This surgery was not something to fix him long-term."


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