Shaq confident of quicker return

Updated: March 3, 2010, 10:17 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Shaquille O'Neal is optimistic that he will be back to help the Cavaliers in the stretch run.

The center, who had thumb surgery on Monday, told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap that he will be back in six weeks instead of the eight that the team said he will miss. That would allow him to return for the start of the playoffs. The Cavs currently own the NBA's best record.

O'Neal has played well for the Cavaliers, averaging 12 points and 6.7 rebounds in 53 games. He injured the thumb Thursday ...

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