Anderson Varejao’s injury was the last thing the Cleveland Cavaliers wanted. Anderson Varejao’s injury ends his season, ending trade rumors involving one of the Cavs’ best assets at the same time. Losing Varejao isn’t just bad due to their loss in trade prospects, but because he is one of the most energetic players they have left on a roster that is struggling to compete.
According to ESPN, Varejao has a torn ankle tendon that is going to require surgery, ending his season in a fashion that nobody would wish upon any player. The injury actually came during a practice on Thursday, where Varejao was injured preparing for the Cavs’ five-game road trip this week. He missed Friday’s game trying to recover from the injury, but it turns out that things are much worse than originally anticipated.
Apparently Varejao went through a second MRI in Phoenix on Sunday, and it was there that it was discovered he has a complete tear of the peroneus longus in the midfoot of the right ankle and foot. Reading between the lines, Varejao is going to have trouble walking, let alone running up and down the basketball court. The freak injury actually took place while he was running too, as he simply planted his foot wrong while running lines, finding his leg simply buckling under him.
Anderson Varejao is never going to be called an NBA super star, but he brings a certain energy and tenacity to the court every night. He is one of the best role players in the NBA, but without a real star to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers right now, he has started to blend into the background. That was one of the reasons his name kept popping up in trade rumors recently, especially with the Cavs trying to figure out a way to re-build the roster after they traded LeBron James to the Miami Heat. This injury is going to take all of those offers off the table now, though, because we won’t see him back on the court until the 2011-12 NBA season.
This year, Varejao was averaging 9.1 points and 9.7 rebounds per game in just 32 minutes of play. Those are career-high numbers for the big man from Brazil, and it’s a shame this injury has derailed his attempts at becoming a double-double man this season. Hopefully the injury doesn’t hamper his leg in the long-term, and Varejao is able to come back better than ever next year.
The Cavaliers aren’t going to recover from an injury like this, and fans should expect that their current 8-29 record could end up being the high-water mark for this season as they head into a very rough road trip that continues with the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.