CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cavaliers suddenly have a major void in rebounds, points and energy. And, their hair doesn’t look as good either.
Anderson Varejao will be missed.
Cleveland’s animated and underrated center will need at least one month to recover from his broken wrist, an injury that will damage the Cavs’ chances of making a playoff push and may prevent other teams from inquiring about the Brazilian big man before next month’s trading deadline.
Article continues below ...
Varejao, one of the NBA’s top rebounders, sustained a non-displaced fracture to his right wrist on Feb. 10 against Milwaukee. On Thursday, Cavs coach Byron Scott revealed Varejao will need a minimum of a month to recover and could be out six weeks.
Scott said surgery is not necessary “at this time.”
The 6-foot-11 Varejao, who for the first few years of his career was known mostly for his long, frizzy hair, was playing at an All-Star level for the Cavs. He’s averaging 10.8 points and 11.5 rebounds, including 4.4 per game on the offensive end.
“When you look at it, I don’t know if four-to-six weeks is good news or not,” Scott said. “I guess it could have been worse.”
Although the Cavs have said they would not trade the 29-year-old Varejao, he was certain to draw interest for teams looking to add a piece for a title run. That now seems unlikely and the Cavs have to hope they don’t fall too far back in the standings before he returns.
There’s a chance if the Cavs are out of it that Varejao would be shut down for the remainder of the season.
“If he’s healthy, Andy wants to play,” Scott said. “It would be hard for me to keep him out of there if he’s healthy.”
Semih Erden started for Varejao on Wednesday and scored a career-high 18 points with a season-high eight rebounds in a win over Indiana.
This is the second straight season Varejao has sustained a significant injury. He played only 31 games in 2011 before tearing a foot ligament in practice.
Also, guard Daniel Gibson is doubtful for Friday’s game against Miami with a sprained left ankle.