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(Reuters) - The Cleveland Cavaliers will be without Anderson Varejao for the rest of season after the Brazilian center tore his left Achilles tendon the National Basketball Association team said on Wednesday.
Varejao suffered the injury during Cleveland’s victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday and an MRI confirmed the damage.
The loss of the Brazilian is a major setback for the rejuvenated LeBron James-led Cavaliers, who are 17-10 this season.
Varejao, in his 11th season with Cleveland, has averaged 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds in 26 games.
“While it is anticipated that Varejao will miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season, a timetable for his return to basketball activity will be developed after he has surgery in the near future to repair the Achilles,” the team said on its website.
The Cavaliers play the Miami Heat on Christmas Day as James suits up against the team he led to two NBA titles before returning to Cleveland in the off-season.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina. Editing by Steve Keating.