Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao needs surgery to repair a small longitudinal split in the vastus medialis in his right knee and is expected miss six to eight weeks, the team announced Wednesday.
Varejao injured his knee Dec. 18 in a game against Toronto and has not been cleared to participate in practice.
Varejao is the NBA's leading rebounder at 14.4 per game and also averages 14.1 points per contest.
An MRI revealed the contused area included a small longitudinal split in the vastus medialis. Despite continued, gradual recovery of the contusion, symptoms also continued in the specific area of the split.
"I'm still trying to be very optimistic that he'll be able to play, I just don't know when," Cavaliers head Byron Scott said. "I hope I'm not talking like it's long-term or for the season. I'm still optimistic he'll be able to play this year until the doctors tell me something different."