CLEVELAND: Anderson Varejao can run on a treadmill and shoot jumpers, but he still isn’t healthy enough to return to the court and likely won’t be for at least another week.
Varejao was held out of Friday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks and won’t play tonight when the Cavs travel to Brooklyn to face the Nets. He said before the game Friday he expects to miss another week with a bruised right knee that has already sidelined him for 10 days.
“I want to be back tomorrow, but I know it’s not possible,” Varejao said. “Hopefully another week. That would be perfect for me.”
Sticking to that timeline, he would also miss Wednesday’s home game against the Sacramento Kings. Coach Byron Scott has a rule that players returning from injuries must practice once before he’ll use them in a game, meaning Varejao would have to make it back in time for next Thursday’s practice or else risk sitting out games next weekend, too.
Scott was initially hopeful that shutting Varejao down for a week would be enough to get him healthy. That clearly hasn’t happened, yet Scott said he isn’t concerned that the injury is more serious than first believed.
“The spot where he got hit is such a tender area that it takes more time to heal than we thought,” Scott said. “I’m not real concerned about it and [the training staff] and doctors don’t seem concerned about it. It’s just going to take a little more time.”
The Cavs honored Varejao on Friday with a wig night. Fans in attendance were given wigs of Varejao’s signature curly locks. He said the last time he had short hair was when he was 16 or 17. He has thought of cutting off the curls a few times, but said he won’t do it.
Samuels to Canton
The Cavaliers assigned Samardo Samuels to the Canton Charge of the Development League on Friday. The timing was curious, given the injury to Varejao, but Scott said the move was intended to get Samuels more playing time. He said Jon Leuer can play center if he needed a third option behind Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson.
Samuels has bounced in and out of Scott’s rotation most of the season, but did not play in either of the two most recent games prior to Friday. Luke Walton has cemented himself in Scott’s rotation for now, making Samuels expendable.
“Especially with the way Luke has been playing the last few games, I wanted him to go down there and get some run,” Scott said.
After inclement weather prevented the Cavs from leaving Washington after Wednesday’s game, they were forced to sit on a runway for nearly seven hours Thursday due to mechanical problems with the plane. They finally left only after a second jet was flown in from Atlanta.
Seven hours on the tarmac is a long time to kill, even on a luxury jet. Scott said he passed the time by watching three of the four installments from the old movie series Faces of Death. A number of current players had never heard of the series, created in the 1970s and 1980s depicting gruesome human deaths — both fake and real. So Scott used the delay to show them three of the four while eating a pack of muffins.
“And I slept great last night,” Scott said.
His one regret was tempting Mother Nature after the victory over the Wizards, since the Cavs are 2-0 when they’re faced with weather delays following games. He said it’d be nice to have 45 weather delays if the Cavs can keep winning road games.
“I take that back,” Scott said. “Mother Nature, I am sorry. Please leave us alone for the next few games.”
Irving’s night out
Kyrie Irving posted at least eight messages on his Twitter account during a three-day period apologizing for a picture that was posted on his account in the early hours of Christmas morning with two women on his lap.
He has a girlfriend, and neither of the women in the picture is it. He’s a 20-year-old single guy, but was angry the picture was leaked and believes it’s a violation of his privacy.
“Somebody posted it. I have no idea how it happened,” he said. “Me knowing better, regardless of going out. I have a conscious mind of what goes on. I’ve never even thought of posting anything like that. I’m obviously in the picture, but it’s just a violation of privacy.”
Asked to define what that means, since Irving is clearly a willing participant in the picture, he defined a violation of privacy as “trying to use me to gain more attention.”
The Cavaliers cut all ties with Luke Harangody on Friday when the Canton Charge traded him to the Development League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants in exchange for JaJuan Johnson.
The Cavs do not own Johnson’s NBA rights, just like they did not hold Harangody’s rights after releasing him last month. This is strictly a D-League move, but the Cavs’ front office makes all personnel decisions involving the Charge.
Johnson was a 2011 first-round pick (27th overall) of the Boston Celtics. He was released at the end of training camp by the Houston Rockets and went unclaimed. He went first overall in the D-League draft prior to this season.
Jason Lloyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Cavs blog at https://ohio.com/cavs. Follow him on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/JasonLloydABJ. Follow ABJ sports on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.