Gallinari has support of coaches, teammates after surgery

Denver Nuggets forward out after procedure to reconstruct ACL
by Aaron Lopez

Over the past several months, Denver Nuggets players and coaches saw forward Danilo Gallinari working tirelessly in the weight room and on the practice court in his rehabilitation from a knee injury.

They stayed optimistic, hoping that Gallinari would make a full recovery and return to the Denver lineup at some point during the 2013-14 season.

There was understandable disappointment when the Nuggets learned that Gallinari underwent reconstructive surgery Tuesday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He is expected to be out the remainder of the season.

“It’s a tough situation,” Nuggets guard Ty Lawson said. “He’s been working all year to get back on the court. It’s tough for him. We’re going to be here for him, keep encouraging him and just let him know that we want him back soon.”

Gallinari was injured while driving to the basket against the Dallas Mavericks on April 4, 2013. He had surgery last summer, but Nuggets general manager/executive vice president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said that the procedure was “insufficient” and reconstructive surgery was necessary.

“We know how hard he worked rehabbing over the last few months trying to get back for this season,” coach Brian Shaw said. “It’s disappointing and unfortunate, but it’s the hand that we’re dealt. We’re pulling for him. We’re going to support him and help him deal with it as best as we can.”


Shaw said that he would welcome Gallinari on trips with the team, but added that the main priority is a smooth recovery.

“When you’re hurt and you’re way from the game, you feel like you’re not part of the team anymore, psychologically,” Shaw said. “If being around us and traveling with us and being a part of everything we do is going to be more helpful for him, especially mentally, than I want him to be around us traveling. If they say he needs to be here concentrating on rehab and that’s in his best interest, then that’s what he’ll do.”