Friday, March 23, 2012
Anderson Varejao (wrist) improving
CLEVELAND -- Six weeks after breaking his wrist, Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao still isn't ready to play.
The Cavs provided an update Friday on Varejao, who has been sidelined since Feb. 10, when he broke his right wrist in a game against Milwaukee. The team had expected Varejao, one of the NBA's top rebounders, to miss 4 to 6 weeks. However, while the Cavs said Varejao "has made good progress in his healing process," they don't expect him to return to practice until the first or second week in April -- at the earliest.
"The update is that he's going through the next phase, which is the rehabilitation phase. We'll see how he is once we get back to Cleveland, but right now, he's just taking it a day at a time," Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said before their game in Orlando Friday night. "I don't know what part of that he is at right now, but I remember them talking about he's gonna be handling the basketball in the next couple of days. I think that's even Sunday or Monday as a matter of fact.
"Then we'll see where he is after that."
The Cavs, who have dropped 4½ games out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, said the 29-year-old Varejao will undergo further "imaging" tests and evaluation at the end of March. They expect Varejao to resume "basic basketball activities" in the next two weeks.
Unless the Cavs make a jump in the standings, it's hard to imagine them playing Varejao over the season's final two weeks. It would seem risky for a team planning for the future.
Cleveland, which has gone 7-12 without Varejao, will play its regular-season finale April 26 against Chicago.
Known for his all-out hustle, the 6-foot-11 Varejao was averaging 11.5 rebounds and 10.8 points before getting hurt. He made significant improvements to his game this season, his eighth with Cleveland.
Scott said they won't do anything to jeopardize his recovery, regardless of how fast he recovers.
"Hopefully at the end of this month, the first of April, we'll see if he's ready to play," Scott said. "But again, with us the biggest thing is his health -- with any of our players. We're not trying to rush Andy back or anything like that. I mean, obviously, we'd love to have him, but right now, his health is the most important thing. We want to make sure he's healed -- if he comes back this year."