OAKLAND -- Warriors backup center and emotional leader Jermaine O'Neal is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist Friday.

The team said a timetable for O'Neal's return will be announced after the operation, which threatens to end his season -- and possibly his career.

O'Neal, 35, who did not play in Wednesday's win over the Dallas Mavericks, has appeared in 17 games this season, including one start, averaging 6.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game.

Warriors players say O'Neal's rousing halftime speech spurred them to rally from a 27-point deficit to beat the Toronto Raptors 112-103 on Dec. 3.

"I told the team at the half, we're going to see what we're made of these next 24 minutes," O'Neal said after the game.

O'Neal, who has torn ligaments on the outside of his wrist, said Wednesday that one option might be immobilizing the wrist in a cast, which would put him out for a protracted period but perhaps allow him to return later in the season.

He's the third reserve center for the Warriors to have surgery this year. Festus Ezeli is expected to be out until at least late January while he recovers from right knee surgery. Ognjen Kuzmic will be sidelined at least four more weeks after fracturing a bone in his right hand Nov. 20 against the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Warriors signed free-agent center Hilton Armstrong this week from their Development League affiliate in Santa Cruz. He made his debut with three rebounds in seven minutes against Dallas.


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-- Matt Schwab