Cleveland's Anderson Varejao didn't realize the blood clot in his lower right lung was life-threatening until after surgery corrected the problem, the Cavaliers' forward told Yahoo! Sports in his first interview since the health scare.
"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 had trouble sleeping and suffered back and chest pain shortly after having surgery on his quadriceps near his right knee on Jan. 10. He didn't waste time telling the Cavaliers' medical staff. A CT scan revealed the blood clot in his left lung, sending him back to the operating room.
Horror stories from friends brought more light to the situation.
"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, 30, was averaging career-highs of 14.1 points, 14.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.5 steals in 25 games this season and was a strong All-Star candidate. His All-Star dream was dashed when he suffered that quadriceps muscle tear on Dec. 17 against the Toronto Raptors. That injury was projected to sideline him six to eight weeks.
He is currently doing light rehabilitation on quadriceps and says he is ahead of schedule in recovering from that injury. Varejao also says he's pain-free following the blood clot surgery and is slated to get off blood thinner medication on April 16. But there is still a daily concern for Varejao as any physical harm can cause bleeding that can trigger another dangerous clot. He is extremely careful about any physicality he takes part in.
Cavs' Anderson Varejao considers himself 'very lucky' after surviving life-threatening blood clot
Yahoo! Sports | Feb 11