A season that started with so much promise for Cleveland Cavaliers’ Brazilian big man Anderson Varejao has come to an end, as it was announced that he will miss the remainder of the Cavs’ 2012-2013 campaign with a blood clot in his lower right lung.
Varejao was initially slated to miss 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery on a torn leg muscle on Jan. 10, but had to remain hospitalized on Monday after doctors discovered the clot. Although losing Varejao is a devastating blow to a team that is already struggling, the health concern is certainly not worth the risk for anyone involved.
“Losing him already was bad enough for us,” star point guard Kyrie Irving said, according to ESPN.com. “The news got worse today. We wish him the best. We’re all going to be there for him morale-wise, just try to be there for him as best as we can as teammates. That’s all we can do right now.”
Although the team did not reveal he had been admitted to the hospital days ago, the Cavs are confident that the clot was not a reaction to the surgery.
Varejao was having the best season of his career and likely would have made the All-Star team if it hadn’t been for his health issues this year. Varejao averaged 14.4 points and 14.1 rebounds through 25 games and was leading the league in rebounds before he went down with the injury.
The Cavs, who are just 10-32 on the season, will certainly miss Varejao’s inside presence. Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson will continue to fill in for him for the rest of the season, while Varejao tries to remain positive heading into next season.
“His spirits are up,” said GM Chris Grant. “He’s frustrated. He wants to play; he wants to be with his teammates on the court. But he’s such a good guy. Every time you see him he’s still got that big smile.”