CLEVELAND (NBA/FIBA Americas Championship) – Brazil’s Anderson Varejao was unquestionably one of the NBA's top players in 2012-13 when he was on the court, averaging more than 14 points and 14 rebounds per game for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
His ninth season was proving to be his best.
Now, the basketball year is over for the 2.11m center because while recovering from surgery on a torn leg muscle, Anderson has developed a blood clot in his left lung.
The 30-year-old will need to take blood thinners for a few months to prevent other clots and will therefore not suit up again for the Cavaliers (10-32) again this season.
"I've talked to the doctors and they kept me calm, kept me quiet," Anderson said to the Brazilian Basketball Confederation website.
"The treatment is not complicated or painful, I will recover well...
"I was annoyed at having to go through surgery and miss part of the season, and I was saddened by this news. Is it bad to be left out, when it's really bad for reasons well as injury or a medical problem, but I want to see the good side, I'll be fine soon."
In the 25 games that Anderson featured in this season, he had played so well that an All-Star appearance seemed likely.
"My heart just goes out to him as a basketball player and as a person," Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said.
"He's had some bad luck in the last three years."
Two seasons ago, Anderson played only 31 games because of a torn ankle tendon while in 2011-12, a broken wrist limited him to just 25 games.
He recovered in time to play for Brazil at the London Games.
"I have received lots of love from my family, from my friends and fans, who are always texting and it helps me a lot to overcome the problems," Anderson said.
Brazil will be hoping that Anderson has fully recovered and will be available this summer when they compete at the FIBA Americas Championship in Caracas, Venezuela.
The tournament is a qualifying event for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.