Perkins says he may miss 5-6 months

Boston Celtics center Kendrick Perkins underwent successful surgery Monday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

According to the team, Perkins officially underwent arthroscopic knee ligament reconstruction with meniscal repair at the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston.

The surgery was performed by team physician Dr. Brian McKeon and assisted by Dr. John Richmond and Jason Rand, PAC.

The Celtics did not provide a timetable for his return, but Perkins suggested he would be sidelined for five to six months after the procedure, which would peg his return at sometime in January or February of 2011.

Boston is set to sign free-agent center Jermaine O'Neal, who is likely to serve as the team's starting center until Perkins is healthy.

Now in his seventh season in Boston, Perkins averaged a career-best 10.1 points per game to go along with 7.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game last year. The Celtics will miss his defense, but are hopeful to have him back on the court with plenty of time to ramp up before season's end.

Perkins delayed surgery until Monday to allow the knee to strengthen and hoping to reduce recovery time, according to Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.

"I guess the philosophy is to get more range of motion, help the swelling, strengthen the glutes and the quads -- all that before surgery," Ainge said Thursday in Orlando. "That gives him a quicker recovery. That's what they're doing now, just rehabbing before surgery."

Chris Forsberg is the Celtics reporter for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.