Exec Drops Truth Bomb on Injured Celtic’s Return

Danilo Gallinari

Getty Danilo Gallinari #8 formerly of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after hitting a three-point basket.

It’s been over a month since Danilo Gallinari suffered a torn ACL during the EuroBasket tournament. When Shams Charania of The Athletic confirmed that Gallinari had torn his ACL, he also gave a timeline for when Gallinari could return to basketball activities.


Based on the timeline that Charania gave when he reported Gallinari’s torn ACL, there is wiggle room for him to come back before the season ends. As unfortunate as Gallinari’s injury is, he tore it almost two months before the season started. Because of how severe an ACL tear is, there’s been plenty of speculation that he’ll be out for the season, but the Celtics have not confirmed that.

When the Boston Celtics announced that Gallinari had successful surgery to repair his torn ACL on September 23, they did not give an exact timetable for when he would return to the court.

There will definitely be more updates as the season goes on, but an Eastern Conference executive who spoke to Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney believes that holding out hope for a Gallinari return isn’t the best idea on the Celtics’ end.

“They’d be dumb to think he might (return), and I don’t think they are dumb,” the exec told Deveney. “It is not impossible, but no one wants to come back after a year and pop up in the playoffs. It never works out.”

The exec revealed that the Celtics may not get their hopes up for a possible return because they have in the past.

“They went through that with Gordon Hayward a couple of years ago (in 2017), and they don’t want to have that be an issue next year.”

Gallinari Wants to Play This Season

While talking to President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe reported through Stevens that, before his surgery, Gallinari aims to return this season.

“Stevens said Gallinari, signed to a two-year deal in July, had been strengthening his knee in preparation for surgery and is motivated to return this season. It’s uncertain whether the 34-year-old can respond from his second ACL tear on that rapid of a timeline.”

Gallinari’s had injury issues since entering the NBA. In his 13-year NBA career – it would be 14 if he hadn’t missed the 2013-14 season from his first ACL tear – Gallinari has only played 80-plus games once, and that was in his second year with the New York Knicks.

Danilo Gallinari Sophomore Season MixSophomore year (but really rookie year) highlights of Knicks' budding star, Danilo Gallinari.2010-04-19T21:32:06Z

Since then, Gallinari’s eclipsed 70 games only once, which was the very season in which he first tore his left ACL with the Denver Nuggets during the 2012-13 season. While having a reputation for being injury-prone, Gallinari has managed to play 60-plus games for three out of the last four seasons.

Gallinari Sent Message Following Surgery

After undergoing surgery to repair his torn ACL, Gallinari took to Twitter to thank those who have helped him since sustaining the injury while vowing that he’ll make his return.

“Yesterday I had successful ACL surgery. Now the focus is on my rehab and return to the game I love. I want to thank the Celtics organization and medical staff at the New England Baptist Hospital. I also want to thank Dr. Antonio Orgiani and Dr. Rodolfo Rocchi for the support they gave me in Italy before my surgery. And of course, thank you to all my fans for their continued support and well wishes… See you soon on the court.”

Gallinari was not present at Celtics Media Day, presumably to focus on his rehab.

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