NBA players who sustain ACL tears often take a full calendar year to return to action, but Celtics forward Danilo Gallinari isn’t giving up on playing in 2022/23 after learning of his diagnosis, according to Tim Bontemps and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. A source tells Wojnarowski that Gallinari is determined to try to play before before the end of the season.
“This has been a tough week for me as I have learned the extent of my injury,” Gallinari wrote today in a statement on Twitter. “This game means everything to me and not being able to be on the court with my Celtics teammates hurts. I plan to give everything I can to the Celtics organization and my teammates as we hunt for a title.”
Even if the Celtics make another deep playoff run and play into May or June, Gallinari would need to make it back onto the court approximately eight or nine months after tearing his ACL in order to contribute in the postseason. That’s a tall order for any player, let alone a 34-year-old who tore the same ACL in 2013.
Here’s more out of Boston:
- Gallinari is expected to undergo surgery on his left knee after the swelling goes down, a league source tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. According to Himmelsbach, Grant Williams will likely play an increased role with Gallinari out, while Sam Hauser will have a chance to earn a spot in the regular rotation.
- Jared Weiss of The Athletic takes a look at what’s next for the Celtics with Gallinari sidelined, noting that Boston still has a pair of trade exceptions worth $6.9MM and $5.9MM that could be useful if the team wants to try to add some reliable veteran depth via trade.
- In another article for The Athletic, Weiss examines how the Cavaliers’ acquisition of Donovan Mitchell affects the Celtics’ place in the Eastern Conference hierarchy and considers whether Collin Sexton‘s new four-year, $72MM deal will be a reference point when Boston discusses a potential rookie scale extension with Grant Williams.