CLEVELAND (AP) — Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao will miss the rest of the season after developing a blood clot in his lower right lung.
Varejao, who underwent surgery on a torn leg muscle on Jan. 10, remains hospitalized at The Cleveland Clinic. The Cavs said he was admitted last Thursday and will likely remain there for several more days as he receives treatment. Varejao is expected to make a full recovery but he will remain on blood thinning medication for at least three months, the team said Monday.
Losing the 6-foot-11 Varejao is a crushing blow to the young Cavs, who are just 10-32.
Varejao was leading the NBA in rebounding and having an All-Star season before he injured his leg on Dec. 18 against Toronto. The team initially thought the injury was just a bruise and expected Varejao to make a quick recovery. However, tests revealed a split in his quadriceps muscle which required an operation. Varejao was expected to be out eight weeks before he developed the blood clot.
"Clearly our players' health is our top concern and we are disappointed for Anderson, and his family," Cavs general manager Chris Grant said in a release. "We know what a competitor he is and how much he wants to be on the court helping his teammates. In the meantime, he has our full support and we look forward to welcoming him back as he recovers."
This is the third straight season Varejao has missed extended time with injuries. He sat out 41 games last season with a broken wrist and was sidelined for 51 games in the previous season after tearing a tendon in his ankle while running after practice.
Varejao averaged 14.4 rebounds and 14.1 points in 25 games before getting injured.
Cleveland, which just completed a 1-4 road trip, hosts Boston on Tuesday. The Cavs will play 10 of their next 12 games at home.