Anderson Varejao developed a blood clot in his lower right lung and will miss the rest of the season, the Cavaliers announced on Monday. The clot developed following his surgery on Jan. 10 to repair a split quadriceps muscle near his right knee. Varejao was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic on Jan. 17 to treat the clot.
He is expected to make a full recovery, but will need to be on blood thinning medications for about three months.
"Clearly our players' health is our top concern and we are disappointed for Anderson, and his family," general manager Chris Grant said in a statement. "We know what a competitor he is and how much he wants to be on the court helping his teammates. In the meantime, he has our full support and we look forward to welcoming him back as he recovers."
It's another crushing blow for Varejao, who has played in only 81 games over the last three seasons while dealing with a variety of injuries. He missed four months in 2011 after tearing a tendon in his ankle running sprints after practice, he missed three months last season after fracturing his wrist when he was fouled on a play and now this.
His initial injury was diagnosed as a knee contusion and the split in the quadriceps didn't show up on initial MRIs. In a month's time, Varejao went from potential All-Star to what was initially considered a routine knee injury to a season-ending blood clot.
Varejao was leading the league in rebounding when he was injured. He finishes the season averaging 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds in 25 games. He played just 25 games last season as well before suffering the fractured wrist.