Anderson Varejao to miss rest of season with torn Achilles, per report
The Cavaliers’ frontcourt has taken a significant blow as starting center Anderson Varejao will miss the rest of the season.
Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao will miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon during the team’s win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. An MRI on Wednesday confirmed the injury, which occurred in the third quarter against Minnesota.
Varejao suffered the injury while fighting for position under the basket when he fell awkwardly on his left side. The Brazilian big man was unable to put any weight on his left leg and ultimately needed to be helped off the court before heading to the locker room.
The Cavaliers reportedly feared the worst immediately, with one report citing a possible Achilles tear, and Varejao could be seen leaving Quicken Loans Arena on crutches with his leg immobilized in an air cast. The MRI on Wednesday confirmed that the center would miss the rest of the season, a major blow to the Cavaliers’ frontcourt.
Cleveland still has two of the best forwards in the game, LeBron James and Kevin Love, but it’s hard not to ignore the team’s lack of rim protection or depth among its big men. Brendan Haywood is technically the No. 2 center on the team’s depth chart, and there’s pretty much no scenario where he should be playing more than a few minutes a night.
That means Tristan Thompson will likely see an expanded role for the Cavaliers in the meantime, but expect rumors surrounding the team to get increasingly loud now that Varejao is done for the year. Cleveland already needed some help before the injury, and now the urgency should only be magnified.
Varejao appeared in 26 games (all starts) with the Cavaliers this season, averaging 9.8 points on 56 percent shooting and 6.5 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game. He’s now played 31 or fewer games in four of the past five seasons, making him one of the most injury plagued players in the league.