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Cavaliers' Varejao out two more games with bruised knee

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Associated Press
12/28/2012 7:38:34 PM
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CLEVELAND -- Cavaliers centre Anderson Varejao would like to return to action as soon as possible.

Unfortunately for the NBA's leading rebounder and his team, it's unclear when he'll be on the court again.

Varejao will miss at least two more games because of a bruised right knee. He will sit out Friday night's home game against Atlanta and will not travel with the team for Saturday's game in Brooklyn so he can get more treatment. Varejao has already missed four games since hurting his knee on Dec. 18 against Toronto.

"I want to be back tomorrow, but I know that's not possible," he said before Friday's game.

The Cavs had hoped extra rest would get Varejao back on the floor, but he's not ready to play. He'd like to return in another week, but he can't say for sure if that will happen.

"I don't think it's anything really bad," Varejao said. "It's getting better every day. It's just not there yet."

Varejao said he feels sharp pain when he tries to bend or push off on the knee, but he can participate in other activities.

"I'm able to shoot," he said. "I'm able to do cardio. I've been running a lot on the treadmill that we have. I'm trying to lift weights, upper body, I'm doing a lot of stretching with my knee. I just can't have contact yet."

Cleveland coach Byron Scott doesn't believe Varejao's injury is more serious than originally diagnosed. He said the area where Varejao was hurt is tender and needs time to heal.

"We want to get him as close to 100 per cent as possible before he steps back out on the court," Scott said.

Varejao is averaging 14.4 rebounds for the Cavs, who have won two straight games for the first time this season.

Varejao's curly hairstyle has been his trademark since coming into the league in 2004. The Cavaliers had a wig giveaway to emulate his unique style Friday.

"It's really sad I can't play on my day," he said with a laugh. "I wish I could play tonight, but I know the fans are excited and I'm very excited. I can't wait to see how it's going to be tonight."

Anderson Varejao (Photo: David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty Images)

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(Photo: David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty Images)
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