Cavaliers’ Varejao Out Up to 4 Weeks
Cavaliers F Anderson Varejao will miss up to four weeks with a left ankle sprain, another loss for a team gaining momentum in the Eastern Conference.
Varejao sprained the ankle when he accidentally stepped on Sasha Vujacic’s foot during a win Sunday against the Lakers. Team physician Richard Parker said Varejao has a sprain with bone bruises.
The Cavaliers (24-19), who have won 12 of 15 and five straight on the road, are already without starting G Sasha Pavlovic for at least six weeks with a left mid-foot sprain.
Varejao has been having one of his best seasons despite not joining the team until early December because of a contract holdout. The mop-haired Brazilian averaged 7.8 points and 8.5 rebounds in 22 games.
BALKMAN SUSPENDED: Knicks F Renaldo Balkman was suspended without pay for last night’s game against the Jazz for committing a flagrant foul against Vujacic.
Balkman was assessed the foul for throwing an elbow that hit Vujacic in the jaw in the second quarter of the Lakers’ 120-109 win Tuesday. Besides the suspension, Balkman was assessed a flagrant foul, penalty two, NBA executive vice president Stu Jackson said in a news release yesterday.
Balkman, a second-year reserve, is averaging 2.9 points and 2.8 rebounds.
WADE OUT: G Dwyane Wade still is suffering from flulike symptoms and did not fly yesterday with the Heat for its game against the Southeast Division-leading Magic.
Starting F Udonis Haslem (sprained left ankle) also didn’t make the trip with Miami, which already is playing without injured Cs Shaquille O’Neal and Alonzo Mourning.
— From News Services
Anderson Varejao sprained his left ankle in a win over the Lakers on Sunday.