NBA

JANUARY 4 2009 08:33h

Cavaliers Ilgauskas Ruled Out For Up To A Month

Cleveland Cavaliers

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Zydrunas Ilgauskas recovery from the injury slowed and an MRI scan on Friday revealed he had chipped a bone in the back of the ankle.

Towering Cleveland Cavaliers starting center Zydrunas Ilgauskas is expected to be sidelined for up to a month while he recovers from a bone chip in his ankle, the team said on Saturday.

The seven-foot three-inch (2.21 metre) Lithuanian incurred the injury during a 101-93 win against the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 10.

After missing three games, he returned to action with a 23-point haul against the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 19 before waking up the following morning in discomfort.

His recovery from the injury slowed and an MRI scan on Friday revealed he had chipped a bone in the back of the ankle.

"I played on it but it didn't feel good," Ilgauskas, 33, was quoted as saying by the Cleveland Plain Dealer (www.cleveland.com/sports/plaindealer). "I wasn't the player I should be.

"One thing we don't want to do is rush it. We'll take it weekly and see how it goes; we really don't know."

Ilgauskas is averaging 13.8 points and 7.1 rebounds in 28 games this season, helping the Cavaliers set the pace in the Central Division with a win-loss record of 27-5.

In his absence, Brazilian Anderson Varejao is expected to take over as starting center.