CLEVELAND: Anderson Varejao has been shut down by the team and will not return for the final week of the season. He is, however, still committed to playing for Brazil this summer at the London Olympics.
Varejao's fractured right wrist, which he injured on Feb. 10, has been slow to heal. The fracture itself healed fine, but Varejao is still experiencing pain and discomfort around the wrist. This is the second consecutive season Varejao had cut short with an injury.
Cavs coach Byron Scott informed Varejao Friday afternoon he wouldn't return, but he saw this coming recently when the wrist wasn't improving fast enough.
"I was trying really hard working out, trying to shoot the ball, trying to do a lot of stuff out there and I wasn’t able to," Varejao said. "It was really sore and I was in a lot of pain. It’s frustrating, but it is what it is."
Varejao was enjoying his best season before the injury, but played just 25 games and averaged 10.8 points and 11.5 rebounds. Scott said a healthy Varejao and a healthy Kyrie Irving could've resulted in an additional 10-15 victories, which would've placed the Cavs in the thick of the playoff race.
"I'm not going to risk putting him out there when he's still not 110 percent," Scott said. "It's easier for us to shut him down and try to get him ready for next season."
The Cavs cannot prevent anyone from playing in the Olympics, provided the player purchases his own insurance policy to cover his contract. As a result, the Cavs will not stand in Varejao's way from playing for Brazil despite the fact Varejao has suffered injuries in each of his last two international competitions.
He injured his right ankle during the summer of 2010 in a warm-up game for the FIBA World Championships, then missed half of last season when he tore the tendon off that same ankle in January.
He missed nearly half of the 2005-06 season after dislocating his right shoulder during a World Championship qualifying game in 2005.
The Cavs, however, are powerless to stop him from playing this summer.
"The thing about guys playing for their country, I understand that," Scott said. "I wouldn't discourage it one bit."