Cleveland Cavaliers Talk Anderson Varejao Out of Returning This Season

Cleveland Cavaliers Talk Anderson Varejao Out of Returning This Season

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  • The Cleveland Cavaliers have talked Anderson Varejao out of a possible return from his Achilles tear injury.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao, who is out for the 2014-15 NBA season with an Achilles tear, was thinking about returning this year but the team talked him out of it due to the risks involved.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have talked Anderson Varejao out of returning this season. 

Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group reported on the development on March 22. Varejao has been ruled out of the year due to an Achilles tear he suffered during a Dec. 23 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

“I wanted to give it a try, but I’m being told to continue my rehab so I can be ready for the start of next season. It’s hard. I want to play,” Varejao told Haynes. “I’m progressing, but I’m going to listen to the team. They have my best interest.”

Haynes stresses Varejao making a push for a return this season “would be a major risk” for himself and the Cavaliers. The team’s management and staff convinced him to sit the rest of the 2014-15 NBA campaign instead.

One of those who has Varejao’s long-term interests at heart is Cleveland head coach David Blatt, per Haynes:

“The Achilles injury and the recovery from it is very protocol-oriented. They’re going to go step-by-step and Andy will try to push the envelope. And since he’s not going to come back this year, we will not allow him to.

“We’ll take him through the process and try to make sure he heals completely for the beginning of next year. The thing about Andy, he’s just that kind of guy. He wants to come back and he wants to get out there, but obviously this year is not the time for him to do that. So, we’ll go along with his excitement and rein him in when necessary.”

Haynes points out losing Varejao, the only bona fide center the Cavaliers had at that point of the season when he got injured, “was a huge blow for the organization.” Cleveland acquired Timofey Mozgov to beef up its playoff push and offset Varejao’s loss. So far, the move has paid huge dividends.

Haynes also says it’s hard for Varejao to be sitting out.

“Man, it’s tough but I’m going to keep working and being supportive,” Varejao tells Haynes. “I miss playing, but I’m happy we’re winning.” 

The Northeast Ohio Media Group update goes into more detail on Varejao’s progress to date:

“He is no longer wearing a protective boot, but he’s not quite ready to perform intense workouts. Even if he was dead set on returning to action this season, he says he wouldn’t know what date he would target, a sign that it was never a realistic possibility. 

“If his condition improves, he could begin to join the team on road trips, particularly in the playoffs. At this point he just wants to be as close to the team as possible.”

In another development, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin interviewed several Cleveland Cavaliers to get their thoughts on Steve Nash’s retirement after they beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 108-90, at the BMO Bradley Harris Center on March 22.

First to speak up was four-time MVP LeBron James. “I think I’ve said it before in a quote, that if I had to pick one team guy to play with, it would be Steve Nash,” he told McMenamin. “He just plays the game the right way. He’s all about team, all about his teammates. I love that.”

For his part, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving told ESPN Nash “revolutionized” the 1-spot:

“He’s leaving  the game, not only in my hands, but also the future point guards’ [hands]. He revolutionized the point guard role…The things I got from him, I utilize in my game now — just little nuances that he did to cope. He didn’t have the athleticism and /4/not be that quick, but he was unbelievably smart and he could shoot the piss out of the ball, and it’s just great to watch him.

“It’s a joy to even talk about him, because I watch highlights of a lot of guys that came before me, guys that play now, and I’ve learned so much just from watching him and him also being able to teach me this past summer, getting a few workouts with him; he showed up to Chelsea Pier riding a goddamn skateboard, man. Stuff like that — he thinks outside the box, and he’s proven himself on the court.”

Nash retired on Saturday with career averages of 14.3 points, 8.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 1,217 career regular-season games for the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers, per ESPN stats

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