The injury occurred Tuesday night in the Cavs' 125-104 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Varejao landed awkwardly while going for a rebound in the 3rd quarter. He left the arena on crutches and in an immobilizing air cast.
The Cavaliers signed Varejao to a 3-year, $30 million extension in October, despite him missing 166 games over the past 4 seasons with various injuries. He shot 55 percent from the field and was averaging 10 points and 6.6 rebounds.
Cleveland is expected to look in the trade market for a big man to fill the role for the rest of the season, and into the playoffs. They have targeted the likes of Timofey Mozgov of the Denver Nuggets and Kosta Koufos of the Memphis Grizzlies in the past. The Cavs have also been in talks to include the Boston Celtics to make it a 3-team deal.
Cleveland cannot trade their 2015 first round pick, due to them sending a 2016 pick to the Celtics in a previous deal. They do own a first-rounder from Memphis that they could potentially add in a deal, as well as a $5.2 million trade exception.
The Varejao injury is a big hole to fill down low for Cleveland, who after a slow start has won 12 of their last 15 games. Tristan Thompson is expected to step into that role for the time being, including today's Christmas Day game against the Miami Heat.