Feb 18, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters (3) talks with teammates as he walks off the floor after being injured during the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers' Dion Waiters returns Tuesday night

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Cleveland Cavaliers’ guard Dion Waiters, who was at the center of trade rumors for a large part of the season, but was never traded, has missed the last seven games with  a knee injury.

On Tuesday night, Waiters returned to the court for the first time since February 18 when the Cavaliers hosted the San Antonio Spurs.

Despite getting Waiters back, the Cavs are still short-handed. Center Anderson Varejao missed his 11th straight game with a sore back and swingman C.J. Miles sat out his seventh game in a row with a sprained left ankle.

Varejao has been doing some on-court work in practice and is close to returning.

The Cavaliers have played much better as of late despite Waiters’ absence. They have won eight of the last 12 games and are now just 3.5 games behind the Atlanta Hawks for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Getting Waiters back should help the Cavaliers stay in contention. Before his injury, the Cavaliers had won five straight games and they went just 3-4 without him.

Waiters is averaging  14.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

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