Some very bad news, via ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst:
Tests Wednesday morning confirmed the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ fears that center Anderson Varejao has torn his Achilles tendon, sources told ESPN.com.
This has become sadly commonplace for the beloved big man — in the past four seasons, Varejao has played only 31, 25, 25, and 65 games, and it looks like he will only play 26 games this season, with no real guarantee that he will come back at 100% from this injury by the start of next season.
Obviously, this is a bummer, as Andy’s presence on the floor made LeBron far more comfortable due to the pick-and-roll ESP the two share with each other and Andy’s growing set of tools, including a nice passing game and an ugly but effective mid-range jumper he’d finally gotten comfortable with.
The pressure is now on Tristan Thompson and David Griffin. Thompson will take over Varejao’s starting spot, and while +/- numbers that say the Cavaliers have been significantly better with Thompson on the floor than Varejao this season, that hypothesis will now be fully tested. As for Griffin, the Cavs were thought to be in the market for an additional rim protector before, with Kostas Koufos and Timofey Mozgov being the names most often linked to the Cavs — the Cavs will now desperately need an extra center to have a chance at being serious finals contenders, because I don’t see this thing working with Lou Amundson and Brendan Haywood getting significant minutes. We’ll see how this shakes out in the coming weeks.