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Danilo Gallinari may return sooner than expected

Jun 15, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

There hasn’t been a lot of great news out of Denver lately as far as the Nuggets are concerned. They fired head coach George Karl. They lost GM Masai Ujiri to the Toronto Raptors. One of their best players in Andre Iguodala is opting out of the final year of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent.

Finally, though, there’s something positive to report.

Danilo Gallinari suffered a torn ACL at the beginning of April that forced him out of action for the rest of the year, and the injury was expected to sideline him through February of next season.

But now, it appears his return could come much quicker than that.

From the Associated Press:

Team spokesman Tim Gelt forwarded a statement from the clinic to The Associated Press on Friday night that read: “Danilo Gallinari had an arthroscopic procedure to promote healing of his ACL tear, which was found to be partially torn at the time of surgery. Dr. Steadman has performed over 2,000 of these procedures. We are hopeful that Danilo will return to basketball sooner than if he had a complete ACL reconstruction.”

Gallinari also posted a video Friday on his official Facebook page in which he delivered the good news, saying in Italian that his recovery time will be “completely different” that previously expected.

This could mean a return to basketball as early as December, reports Ben Hochman of the Denver Post.

The loss of Gallinari was near the top of the lists of reasons that the Nuggets were ill-equipped to deal with the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs, and was among those that ownership in Denver cited for parting ways with Karl. It wasn’t believed that he would be in a favorable position coaching in the final year of his contract while losses potentially piled up early in the season with Gallinari out of action.

Gallinari averaged 16.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in 32.5 minutes per game for the Nuggets last season.

  1. boobcok - Jun 15, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Wouldn’t Gallinari returning to your lineup still fall under the “bad news” category?

  2. rushbacker - Jun 15, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Firing George Karl WAS positive news. And why would losses pile up without Gallo? The Nugs played just fine without him down the stretch– and would have been fine in the playoffs, if Karl hadn’t panicked and gone as small as he could after Lee got hurt. Three games with 6’7 1/2″ Ken Faried starting at center and 6’8″ Wilson Chandler at PF; three losses. Three games with Koufos or JaVale starting at center; two wins and one close loss. Plus, Karl started raw rookie Evan Fournier at the two all three of those games, and slid Iggy to the three. Everyone was out of position, and the defensive rotations just weren’t there against the Dubs three point shooters.

    Granted, getting Gallo back early will help a lot, if he can play close to his former level at some point next year. Chandler’s a more than adequte replacement in the starting lineup, though. What the Nugs need is a legit shooter off the bench, and they would have even if Gallo wasn’t hurt. Good luck to him in his rehab.

    • patfic15 - Jun 15, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      You’re delusional. If that squad had stayed together, they would be a serious threat next year.

      • rushbacker - Jun 15, 2013 at 7:56 PM

        Please. Under a different coach, maybe. Not under Karl. His playoff record speaks for itself– loudly.

  3. anhdazman - Jun 15, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    For having 57 wins last season, the Nuggets is a train wreck in the works this off season. They’re probably going to over pay to keep Iguodala who is a good defender, but isn’t anything special on offense. Furthermore, he’s already descending talent wise as a player.
    How could Iguodala option out of 15 million? No one in their right mind should even pay him 10 million a year on his final FA contract at age 30. Does he think someone will give him a 3 or 4 year contract averaging 10+ millions a year? Insane!

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