|06 April 2013|
|Italy star Danilo Gallinari will miss the remainder of the NBA season and EuroBasket 2013 due to a torn ACL |
An MRI scan on Friday has confirmed Italy´s worst fears on Danilo Gallinari, who was wheeled off the court on Thursday, after suffering an injury during a Denver Nuggets game against the Dallas Mavericks.
The diagnosis is that the Italian forward has sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee, the Denver club announced on Friday.
Gallinari will miss the remainder of the NBA season and EuroBasket 2013 with Italy and while a date for his return to action cannot be accurately predicted at this point, this will only take place after the start of the next NBA season.
Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio, who had suffered the same injury on 11 March 2012, albeit in his right knee, returned to action with the Minnesota Timberwolves in December 2012.
The MRI showed no signs of other ligament or meniscus damage in Gallinari´s knee and surgery will be scheduled at a later date, the Nuggets statement said, while it also added that "a prognosis for a full recovery is excellent."
"Thanks to everyone for the huge amount of messages, you are the best," the Italian star tweeted on Saturday, acknowledging the support voiced by his fellow Italian colleagues and numerous European and American players and fans on social media during the course of the previous day.
"We're extremely disappointed for Gallo," said Denver´s executive vice president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri in the statement.
"He was having a career year in scoring and rebounding and was a huge reason for our success.
"We will obviously support him and be there for him throughout his recovery."
Gallinari averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists in the 71 games he played for the Nuggest in this NBA season up until his injury.
It´s not an overstatement to suggest that the unfortunate development forces Italy head coach Simone Pianigiani to go back to the drawing board and rethink his entire team´s play ahead of EuroBasket 2013.
Gallinari was the linchpin of the new-look Italy side that finished as the best team in last summer´s EuroBasket Qualification Round, as he led the Azzurri in scoring (15.1 points per game) and rebounds (6.8 boards per game).
The forward had expressed his availability to lead Italy in next September´s showpiece event in Slovenia just a couple of weeks before sustaining the injury, during a meeting with Pianigiani and Italian Federation president Giovanni Petrucci in Chicago.
Italy were drawn in First Round Group D in the EuroBasket and will do battle with Turkey, Finland, Greece, Russia and Sweden for a top-three finish that leads to the Second Round of the championship.