We were all expecting it to be a gradual learning process for Danilo Gallinari, but its sounding more and more like we won't be seeing very much of Il Gallo at all this year. From the Times:
"His back just flared up again," Coach Mike D'Antoni said. "He was making progress, and then one morning he said he couldn’t put his pants on."
Test results were not immediately available. Team officials are hopeful that Gallinari can avoid surgery, but they cannot rule it out.
"I’m worried about it at this point," D’Antoni said. "We’re just going to do what’s best for him. He’s 20 years old. We’d love for him to play in the next two or three weeks, we’d love for him to play in the next two or three months. But he’s got to be 100 percent well."
And so it is. Given that we're not exactly expecting a playoff appearance from these Knicks, Gallinari's absence isn't the end of the world. The draft doubters, though, will surely be shaking their chubby little fingers at the news. Gallinari's fragile, he's not NBA-ready, he's a bust, whatever. I say we all knew it was a long-term move, and while I don't wish season-killing injuries on anybody, I think we'll live. I was excited to see Gallo play, but his health comes first.