Anderson Varejao undergoes surgery for torn Achilles, out for the season

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We already knew this was going to be the case, but the Cleveland Cavaliers announced on Friday night in a press release that center Anderson Varejao will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn left Achilles tendon.

Cavaliers Center Anderson Varejao underwent successful surgery today at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland to repair his recently ruptured left achilles tendon. Dr. Brian Donley performed the surgery with Cavaliers Head Team Physician Dr. Richard Parker and Dr. James Rosneck assisting. Varejao is expected to miss the remainder of the 2014-15 NBA season while he recovers and progresses through his rehabilitation process. A timeline for his return to basketball activity will be established at a later date.

This is awful news for the Cavs, whose frontcourt depth—which was already not great—is now decimated. Brendan Haywood is legitimately their third-best big man right now. Varejao was one of their better defenders, and outside of LeBron James (who has lost a step on that end from a couple of years ago) and Shawn Marion (who is 36), they don’t have anyone else on that end as the roster is currently constructed.

With Varejao gone for the season, the Cavs need to trade for somebody, but it’s unclear who. Brandan Wright, who was just traded from the Mavericks to the Celtics as part of the Rajon Rondo trade, is probably available if the Cavs are willing to give up a first-round pick. That’s a deal that probably makes sense for both teams, but other than that, there aren’t many bigs available who would move the needle for the Cavs.

With the Chicago Bulls rounding into shape and the Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors and Atlanta Hawks as hot as ever, the Cavs’ road to the Finals is going to be tough, and as of now they can’t really be looked at as the favorites. As good as their top-end talent is, that likely isn’t going to change unless they add somebody who will replace Varejao’s production on the defensive end.