Danilo Gallinari will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his ACL today, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Gallinari didn’t have ACL surgery this past spring, instead having a procedure done to repair his meniscus, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The Nuggets announced in April that he had torn the ACL in his left knee, and he hasn’t played in a game since. The doctor who performed the initial surgery believed Gallinari could strengthen the ACL enough to play on it without the traditional operation, but the knee didn’t respond, as Wojnarowski explains in his full story.
Gallinari said last week that the thought of missing the entire season had crossed his mind, a change from earlier, when he indicated he didn’t consider that a possibility. The Nuggets haven’t been the same without him, compiling a 20-20 record so far compared to last season’s 57-25 mark. The Warriors upset the Nuggets when they were without Gallinari in last year’s playoffs.
The 25-year-old is in the midst of a four-year, $42MM extension that runs through 2015/16 and pays him more than $10.1MM this season. The deadline to apply for a disabled player exception was January 15th, so the capped-out Nuggets can only sign a minimum-salary player to replace him. Today’s announcement strengthens the chance that Denver will look to make changes that favor the future over the present come the trade deadline.
The Nuggets will recoup some of their obligation to Gallinari this season through their insurance policy, which pays 80% of his salary for any games he misses over the latter part of the season. That’ll work out to a savings of about $4.5MM, tweets Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post.