MIAMI -- This is one repeat the Miami Heat didn't want: a serious early season injury to Shaquille O'Neal.
The 13-time All-Star will undergo knee surgery and be sidelined four to six weeks, the Heat said Friday. O'Neal tore cartilage in his left knee Sunday 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.
The 34-year-old O'Neal missed Tuesday's game, practiced Thursday and was expected to play Friday against the New York Knicks. But knee stiffness sent him to the doctor Friday for an MRI that revealed a flap tear in the articular cartilage.
The Heat announced shortly before tipoff that O'Neal would undergo surgery, with the date to be determined.