After Wednesday's practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts, the Cavaliers rookies serenaded coach Mike Brown with an off-key version of "Happy Birthday'' in honor of the coach's 44th birthday.

But if they really wanted to get him something he could use, they'd figure out a way to gift-wrap a certain curly-haired center who has missed 11 games with a sore back.

Before the serenade, Anderson Varejao went through 30 to 45 minutes of strenuous drills with assistant coaches. Working with Igor Kokoskov and posting up against Vitaly Potapenko, Varejao displayed most of his offensive repertoire with a considerable bounce in his step, then capped off the session draining free throw after free throw.

Based on how he looked, he is tantalizingly close to returning, but neither Brown nor Varejao could put a timetable on his return.

Asked if he could be back for Friday's game at Charlotte, Varejao said, "I don't know. We can't set a date yet. I would love to. Hopefully I can play the next game. If not, I feel like I'm pretty close but I just don't know when yet.