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Cavs' Varejao plans to play for Brazil in Olympics

Posted Mar 28 2012 7:23PM - Updated Mar 29 2012 12:38AM

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao won't be lying on a Brazilian beach this summer.

At least not until the Olympics are over.

Cleveland's ever-hustling big man said he intends to play for his country at the London Games, assuming he's fully recovered from a broken wrist that has sidelined him nearly seven weeks.

Varejao broke his right wrist on Feb. 10 in a game against Milwaukee. It's taken him longer to get back than expected, but the 6-foot-11 Varejao said he wants to play for Cleveland again in the final month of the season.

"I am part of the team and I want to help even if we don't have any more chance at making the playoffs," Varejao said Wednesday night before the Cavs dropped their fifth straight, 87-75 to the Detroit Pistons. "I want to play, that's what I get paid to do. Last year, I was hurt and this season I got hurt, too. I want to play.

"This is what I love to do."

Varejao, who missed most of last season with a torn tendon in his right foot, said he's excited that Brazil will be hosting the Olympics in 2016, but he's more concerned with the Games only four months from now.

"If I'm healthy, I will play in London," said Varejao, who has been a member of Brazil's national team since 2001.

Before he hurt his wrist, Varejao was averaging 10.8 points and 11.5 rebounds. The Cavs provided a medical update on him last week, which said he won't begin practicing until early April. It's possible that even if he is cleared to play, the team may keep him out of the lineup rather than risk him getting hurt again with only a handful of games left.

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