One of the few bright points during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ abysmal 2012-2013 campaign has been their Brazilian-born big man Anderson Varejao, who is having a All-Star caliber season and is currently leading the NBA in rebounding with 14.4 boards per game. Now, the Cavs are learning that they won’t be able to lean on Varejao’s stellar production for the next 6-8 weeks, as he will need surgery to repair a torn leg muscle, according to ESPN.com.
Varejao was originally diagnosed with a bruised knee when he suffered the injury back on Dec. 18, but as his symptoms worsened he was re-evaluated and discovered a herniating muscle tear. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Varejao has dealt with a significant injury. He missed 51 games last year with a torn ligament in his foot and missed 41 games the year prior with a broken wrist. Obviously, the team and Cavs fans hope that he will return this season, but that will depend on his recovery.
“Everybody in this league has to deal with injuries, and we’ve had to deal with them for three straight years,” said Cleveland coach Byron Scott. “You just got to keep playing hard with the guys that you have.”
It’s been a frustrating year for Scott and the Cavs to say the least. Cleveland also lost its other star, last season’s rookie of the year, Kyrie Irving for 11 games earlier this season due to a broken finger. The result of injuries and poor play is a 8-28 record coming into Wednesday’s game against Atlanta, which is second worst in the NBA.
“It’s real tough,” Scott said. “You’re disappointed, frustrated and (ticked) off. You have so many different emotions going through your head, but what can you do?”
The team was interested in shopping Varejao earlier this season, but with the injury they will likely have to rely on young reserves Tristan Thomas and Tyler Zeller in the meantime.
“When you have a big blow like this, you’re going to have guys get a golden opportunity,” Scott said. “When you have an injury like this, there is always a silver lining.”