Anderson Varejao injury: Cavaliers star could miss 2 months with knee surgery

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cavaliers will be without Anderson Varejao for another six to eight weeks as the big man undergoes knee surgery on Thursday.

Cleveland Cavaliers' big man Anderson Varejao will be out for six to eight weeks after knee surgery scheduled for this Thursday, the team announced Wednesday morning. Varejao has been out since suffering an apparent right knee contusion during a game against the Toronto Raptors on Dec. 18.

After receiving a recommendation for surgery from the franchise's head team physician, Dr. Richard Parker, a second opinion from a doctor outside the organization confirmed that advice. With confirmation of the need for surgery in hand, the Cavaliers are moving quickly in the hopes of having Varejao back well before the end of the season.

Diagnosis was a right knee contusion, specifically to the vastus medialis which connects to the medial (inner) border of the patella. As Varejao's treatment and recovery process continued, an MRI revealed the contused area included a small longitudinal split in the vastus medialis. Despite continued, gradual recovery of the contusion, symptoms also continued in the specific area of the split. Another MRI revealed an increase in the split and symptoms persisted. Dynamic ultrasound imaging also revealed tissue from underneath the split was herniating and pinching with knee flexion.

The news brings some clarity to a situation that had quickly become fairly ominous over the past few weeks, though the end result is something many had feared. Reports had previously stated that Varejao was going to practice on Tuesday, but coach Byron Scott responded with some vague, pessimistic comments to inquiries.

Scott's comments make a good deal more sense now given the recent developments though, as he was likely aware of the lack of progress that Varejao had been making before the decision to undergo surgery was made.

Varejao emerged as one of the league's most productive big men before the injury, posting per game averages of 14.1 points, 14.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 25 games. In his absence, young players like Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller will presumably continue to shoulder heavier loads.

This story originally appeared at SB Nation.

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