Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari is set to get back on the court after missing a month due to a strained left glute, he confirmed on Wednesday (Twitter link via Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times). Gallinari, who suffered the injury in a November 5 game against the Heat, will make his return tonight against the Timberwolves.
Gallinari, acquired via a three-way sign-and-trade in July, was the Clippers’ most noteworthy free agent addition this offseason, but he has been one of many of the team’s newly-added players who has faced health problems so far. Point guards Milos Teodosic and Patrick Beverley have missed time too, with Beverley’s knee injury sidelining him for the rest of the season. Blake Griffin, who signed a new five-year contract with the Clips over the summer, is also on the shelf.
DeAndre Jordan has been the Clippers’ lone starter who has stayed healthy throughout the year, a fact he alluded to today after word broke that Gallinari is set to return. “We’ve got a starter back,” Jordan said, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “That makes two of us.”
With the Clippers plagued by the injury bug and struggling to an 8-14 record, there has been increasing speculation that the team could become a seller prior to the trade deadline. Perhaps Gallinari can help right the ship in Los Angeles, but even if the Clips continue to struggle, it’s hard to imagine the club moving the former Nugget this season. Gallinari, who becomes trade-eligible on December 15, is one of just two Clippers (Griffin is the other) whose salary is fully guaranteed through 2020, so he appears to be part of the team’s long-term plans.