Team officials said Gallinari underwent the second surgery on Tuesday after the Healing Response procedure he initially underwent for the injury he suffered last April was deemed insufficient.
The development is considered a major setback for the Nuggets and means that the 25-year-old sharpshooting forward will not take the court at all this year after averaging 16 points and five rebounds in his breakthrough campaign last season.
“Knowing Danilo’s drive and work ethic, we look forward to a full recovery and a healthy return to the court next season,” Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly said in a news release.
ESPN adds the Healing Response procedure Gallinari originally opted to undergo is considered an alternative to the more conventional ACL surgery he will now have. He will now also be forced to restart his rehab all the way from square one.
“It’s disappointing,” said Nuggets coach Brian Shaw. “We know how hard he worked rehabbing over the last few months to try to get back for this season. We feel for him, and know how tough a situation that is to deal with.” The Nuggets are also hoping to be able to recoup as much as $4.5 million of Gallinari’s salary this season based on the terms of an insurance policy.
At one point, Shaw said he thought Gallinari’s recovery was progressing so well he was envisioning how he would use him in the Nuggets lineup.
“I had hope, but I was realistic about the fact that it may not happen as well,” said Shaw. “We always did understand that this was a possibility that he may not be back. It’s kind of a tease as you watched him seemingly get closer and actually get out here on the floor, running up-and-down and shooting and things like that; your mind starts to ‘Ok, I can see him in the lineup doing this, doing that.’”
Shaw later added “we’re pulling for him, we’re going to support him. I know how hard he worked to try to get back to this point. That’s only going to help him out in his rehab now going forward. So we’re all behind him. Like I said, it’s disappointing and unfortunate but it’s the hand that we’re dealt and we have to deal with it and help him deal with it as best we can.”