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Cavs’ Varejao says he’s lucky to be alive after blood clot surgery

Feb 11, 2013, 12:37 PM EDT

Anderson Varejao AP

If he had not needed surgery, Anderson Varejao would be packing his bags for Houston and the All-Star Game right now. Nobody was noticing because nobody was watching Cavaliers games before Kyrie Irving got back, but Varejao was averaging better than 14 points and 14 rebounds a game with a PER of 21.8.

But what started as a pretty routine quadriceps surgery led to a blood clot in his lungs that required another surgery to save his life, the Brazilian big man explained to Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

“I was having my best season, the best time of my life, and a week later I’m in the hospital and I could be dead,” Varejao said. “It’s crazy. I’m very lucky.”

Varejao is alive in part because he was honest with team doctors — after his surgery he started having back pain and trouble sleeping, which he told them about rather than just try to “be a man” and tough it out. Doctors then discovered the clot.

“They told me stories like, ‘Oh my God, I had a friend who died of a blood clot in their lung,’ ” Varejao said. “And then somebody else tells me the same thing. …

“Then you start to think about it and realize that this is more serious than I thought. A week after the surgery I was at home thinking about how I could be gone right now.”

Varejao has been cleared to travel and will go with the team on its next road trip, but he will not return the court this season. Which makes the chances of him being traded at the deadline pretty much nonexistent.

But all of that is trivial compared to what could have happened. Fortunately it got dealt with and Varejao will be back on the court next season.

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