Gallinari In Slovenia Only As A Fan

09 April 2013

EUROBASKET 2013

8. Danilo Gallinari (Italy)
Danilo Gallinari has put a stop to all rumours, confirming that if he goes to Slovenia, it will be as a supporter

Danilo Gallinari has put to rest rumours that circulated over the weekend suggesting there was a possibility for him to recover in time to play for Italy at EuroBasket 2013.

"Be back in four months to play at the EuroBasket? No, it's impossible," he said categorically in an interview with Italian station Radio 24.

"It will be a summer of working [in rehabilitation] on the knee just to hope to be ready to play at least at the start of the new [NBA] season."

The Denver Nuggets forward was injured last Thursday night in a game against the Dallas Mavericks and was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee on Friday.

"For sure however I will stay close to [Italy head] coach [Simone] Pianigiani, with whom I always exchange views and opinions, and to my colleagues in the national team.

"I've heard from all of them, and if it's feasible I want to go to Slovenia to cheer them on and be close to the team."

Gallinari received so many messages of support, privately and on social networks, on the day he was undergoing the MRI scan that confirmed his injury that, "I had to recharge the mobile phone at least four times on Friday, but I've managed to reply to everyone," he told daily La Gazzetta dello Sport in a separate interview.

Both interviews were conducted over the phone as the charismatic forward remains in Denver and in both he has appeared to be in good spirits and did not complain at all about being in pain.

"It's now going much better, I am limping less," he said.

"I am fine mentally, preparing for the surgery, I can't wait to start working out again."

The operation will not take place for at least another two weeks and Gallinari said that he is still weighing his options with regards to the surgeon that will operate on his knee.

Richard Steadman of Vail clinic, close to Denver, who years ago operated successfully on Italian footballing icon Alessandro Del Piero, is the first name who comes to Gallinari's mind, while he has also not ruled out the possibility of returning to Italy to undergo surgery there.

For now, and despite his good state of mind, considering the circumstances, Gallinari cannot help but feeling 'anger' and 'regret'.

"What hurts me more is being angry at what has happened, it really burns me inside," the 24-year-old said.

"I had a feeling that this was the right season [up until the injury].

"I was giving my all, because I knew that good things would happen with both the Nuggets and Italy.

"I was very happy to make the [NBA] play-offs, it would be a great platform to play on a global scale, and I was totally ready."

Gallinari was having the best NBA season of his career, averaging 16.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists with Denver, who are standing third in the Western Conference with an outstanding 53-24 record.

Italy are drawn in Group D at EuroBasket, and will do battle in the First Round with Turkey, Finland, Greece, Russia and Sweden.

 


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