Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao underwent successful surgery Friday to repair a ruptured left Achilles tendon, the club said, but the Brazilian star is not expected to return this season.
Brian Donley performed the procedure following an injury that took place Tuesday, when Varejao collapsed while going for a rebound in the third quarter of Cleveland`s 125-104 victory over Minnesota. He had to be helped off the court.
No timeline has been set for the 32-year-old center to return to the court.
Varejao averaged 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds a game this season and his absence is a major setback for the title hopes of the Cavaliers in their first season since the return of superstar LeBron James after four years with the Miami Heat, two of which resulted in NBA titles.
Varejao`s loss will hurt on the defensive end, putting more pressure on power forward Kevin Love to grab rebounds and intimidate opponents near the basket.
But it also deals a blow to Cleveland, the South American`s size and inside scoring threat helped by the outside scoring punch of James, a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player, and Australian guard Kyrie Irving.