Coach Mike Brown said O'Neal "will probably play" unless he has a setback before Friday night's game. O'Neal has sat out the past six games with a strained left shoulder.
Brown said O'Neal will be limited to between 24 and 26 minutes against the Bobcats and again Saturday against Dallas as he works his way back into game condition.
O'Neal is averaging 11.3 points and 6.9 rebounds in nine games with Cleveland.
Bobcats forward Boris Diaw aggravated a left ankle injury that he had from the summer, but went through shootaround Friday and said he'll play.