The Cavaliers will reach the season's midpoint within the next two weeks, and what they've seen thus far hasn't been very encouraging. They're 7-26, the league's second-worst record behind only the Washington Wizards.

They lost Wednesday to a woeful Sacramento Kings team that has struggled on the road all season and was playing without two of its top three scorers. A loss at Charlotte tonight and they will have their fifth losing streak of at least four games.

Anderson Varejao hasn't played since Dec. 18 with a knee injury that has been slow to heal, and he's not expected back now before Jan. 9 at the earliest. Even coach Byron Scott conceded Thursday he is getting concerned with the amount of time Varejao has missed over what was initially perceived as a routine bruised knee when it occurred.

"I think we're all concerned," Scott said. "It's taking longer than everyone expected."

Scott maintains that the injury is in a delicate spot on the inside half of the knee. Scott last week denied a Brazilian report Varejao was dealing with a torn quadriceps muscle. Asked again Thursday if Varejao is dealing with a tear of any kind, Scott responded: "I don't know. I know that he has had an MRI and it said that he has a muscle in there that is healing, but it hasn't fully healed and it's going to take time. It's in a bad spot."

Varejao and Daniel Gibson (concussion) did not travel to Charlotte, N.C., for tonight's game. Scott's rule has always been a player must practice first before returning to the lineup. Given the way the schedule falls, the Cavs won't practice again until Tuesday, meaning Varejao can't return before Wednesday's game against the Atlanta Hawks.