Warriors' O'Neal to ungergo surgery on wrist Friday

Warriors' O'Neal to ungergo surgery on wrist Friday
December 12, 2013, 4:15 pm
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Jermaine O'Neal, 35, is in his 18th NBA season and heading for his second wrist surgery since 2010. (USATSI)

Warriors center Jermaine O'Neal, who has missed the team's last two games, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on Friday to repair torn ligaments in his right wrist

O'Neal visited a hand specialist on Thursday, after which it was decided that surgery is the best long-term option. His recovery period won't be known until sometime after the surgery, but O'Neal said during an interview Wednesday that he plans to return this season no matter which course of action he took.

The 35-year-old, in his 18th NBA season, underwent surgery on his left wrist in 2010 and has on at least two occasions considered retirement in recent years.

After a slow start – O'Neal was shooting 22 percent through the first two-plus weeks – the veteran had began to find his game and play well as the primary backup to starter Andrew Bogut.

But O'Neal indicated during that Wednesday interview that his wrist had gotten progressively worse in recent weeks, forcing him to the sideline. This season, in all likelihood, will be his last in the NBA.

O'Neal has played in 17 games, averaging 6.2 points and 4.5 rebounds, playing 19 minutes per game.

The Warriors on Wednesday summoned Hilton Armstrong, a veteran of six NBA teams, from Developmental League Santa Cruz to help fill the void created by O'Neal's absence.

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