CLEVELAND — Two seasons ago it was a torn tendon in his ankle. Last season it was a fractured wrist. Now it’s a split of one of the muscles in his right quadriceps.
The Cavaliers announced Wednesday that center Anderson Varejao will undergo surgery Thursday at the Cleveland Clinic and be out six to eight more weeks.
Varejao, who missed 51 games in 2010-11 and 41 in 2011-12, had been listed as “day-to-day” with a bruised right knee since suffering the injury Dec. 18 vs. Toronto.
A second opinion was recently obtained from Dr. J. Richard Steadman of The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo. It confirmed Cavs team physician Dr. Richard Parker’s recommendation for surgery, which will be done at the Cleveland Clinic.
“I don’t know if you can stop anybody from getting hurt,” Cavs coach Byron Scott said. “The thing with Andy, especially the last two years, it’s been freaky injuries. Injuries that doctors say, ‘I haven’t seen this before.’ It’s things that have been so freaky that you think, ‘It’s got to turn the other way the next year.’ That’s what I was thinking this year.
“Do I worry about him being injury prone? Not really. It’s just that he’s had some bad luck the last couple years.”
Varejao, who was averaging 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds in what had been the best season of his nine-year career, had already missed 10 games with the injury heading into a Wednesday game against the Atlanta Hawks at Quicken Loans Arena.
The surgery will not only rob the Cavs of one of their most talented players for approximately 18 to 25 more games, it will also make it virtually impossible for the team to deal Varejao for younger players and draft picks prior to the Feb. 21 trade deadline.
“You have so many different emotions going on in your head, but what can you do?” Scott said. “Everybody in this league deals with injuries. Unfortunately for us, we’ve had to deal with them on a number of occasions for three straight years. The only thing you can say after that is it is what it is.”
Rookie Tyler Zeller will continue to start in Varejao’s absence, with starting power forward Tristan Thompson also available to play center.
The Cavs waived Samardo Samuels on Sunday and have a roster spot available, so there’s a chance they could sign a young big man. One possibility is Temple’s Micheal Eric, who was cut during training camp.