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Cavs general manager Danny Ferry said O'Neal will wear a splint for the next two weeks, then begin his rehab.
"Our guys have done a very good job of stepping up this season. We are confident they will do the same in this situation," Ferry said. "We are fortunate to have some depth in our front court that can keep us moving forward while Shaq recovers and returns to play for the postseason."
Anderson Varejao will continue to start at center for Cleveland, which has the NBA's best record at 44-16. J.J. Hickson and Leon Powe, who recently returned from knee surgery, are also options.
Ilgauskas, traded to Washington for Antawn Jamison, is now a free agent following a buyout by the Wizards. Ilgauskas is free to sign with any team, but will have to wait another couple of weeks under NBA rules should he elect to re-sign with the Cavaliers.
Cleveland has struggled with injuries and personnel losses all season.
Point guard Mo Williams recently returned after missing 11 games with an injured shoulder and guard Delonte West bounced in and out of the rotation early because of personal reasons. Powe debuted last week after recovering from knee surgery last summer.
"There's nothing we can do about it," coach Mike Brown said. "It's happened all year. Hopefully someone will step up and fill the void and we'll just keep moving forward."
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