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Cavs center Varejao out with fractured right wrist

Posted Feb 11 2012 5:21PM - Updated Feb 11 2012 9:01PM

CLEVELAND (AP) -- For the second time this week, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been hit with an injury to a key player.

Center Anderson Varejao, who is having the best season of his eight-year career, will be out indefinitely with a broken right wrist.

Rookie point guard Kyrie Irving missed his third straight game Saturday night against Philadelphia with a concussion. While it's hoped Irving will return in the near future, possibly as early as next week, it's unclear how long Varejao will be sidelined.

The latest injury will be a major blow to the Cavaliers.

Not only is Varejao averaging 10.8 points with 11.5 rebounds, his hustling style of play both inspires his teammates and aggravates opponents as well.

"It's going to be hard to make up for everything that Andy does," Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said. "He gives us so much on both ends of floor. There's not a whole lot of guys in the league that play with the energy and intensity Andy plays with. That's what makes him special."

Varejao, who leads the league in offensive rebounds per game, was injured in the third quarter of Friday night's 113-112 overtime loss to Milwaukee and did not return.

The injury occurred while he grabbed a rebound and was slapped on the wrist by a defender.

The results of an MRI performed Saturday revealed a non-displaced fracture of the wrist. Scott said Varejao will be evaluated again Sunday.

A timeline for his return will be established next week after further testing.

Semih Erden started at center Saturday. Scott said Ryan Hollins and Samardo Samuels will also get minutes there. Rookie power forward Tristan Thompson may be another option.

Scott said Irving rode the stationary bike Saturday, but it's uncertain when he will be cleared to take part in practice drills.

The Cavaliers are following the NBA's new guidelines on treating head injuries with Irving, who was injured in Tuesday's game against Miami. He was knocked down in the foul lane while driving to the basket and his head struck Heat guard Dwyane Wade's knee.

Irving complained of a headache on Wednesday and was diagnosed with the concussion shortly before Cleveland hosted the Los Angeles Clippers that night.

Irving, the No. 1 pick in the draft, is averaging 18.1 points and 5.1 assists in 23 games.

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