When Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao went down with a knee injury 25 games into the 2012-2013 NBA season, not too many people thought it was that serious as it was initially diagnosed as a deep bruise. It became a bit more serious when further tests revealed that there was a “longitudinal split” between the Brazilian’s quadriceps and knee. Then, things got scary as Varejao’s life was potentially in jeopardy.
Shortly after having the surgery to repair his injured knee, Varejao went in for a CT scan after experiencing some chest pains and restlessness. The tests revealed a blood clot in his left lung, which he immediately had surgery to remove. As he has said, it’s a good thing he went to the doctor when he did or he could be gone right now.
However, after going through rehab and cycles of medication including blood thinners, Varejao is ready to rejoin the improved Cavs for the 2013-2014 NBA season. According to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Varejao has been cleared for “all basketball activities” now and will be able to join the Cavaliers for training camp in a couple of weeks.
Before the frightening injury ended his season, Varejao was having a career-year last season and seemed to be on his way to an All-Star bid. In the 25 games that he played, he was averaging 14.1 points, 14.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.5 steals in 36 minutes per game, all of which were career-highs.
Coming into this season, assuming that he can get back into game-shape, Varejao will likely be coming off of the bench behind newly signed center Andrew Bynum, also assuming Bynum is healthy and ready to play. At 31 years old, Varejao could be a veteran spark-plug off of the bench for this Cleveland team that has a legitimate chance (finally) of making the postseason. Varejao is also a player that could pop up in trade rumors as the Cavs try to further improve. Either way, it’s good to see him healthy and getting back to the game of basketball; he’s going to have real value to his team this year.
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