With 4:16 remaining in the second quarter Thursday night in Denver, Danilo Gallinari went to the floor on the baseline after his left knee appeared to buckle after he came to a jump stop on a drive to the basket.
Gallinari appeared to be in a lot of pain, and was placed in a wheelchair once he left the court.
The Nuggets announced that Gallinari would not return, and that an MRI was scheduled for Friday to determine the extent of the injury.
The loss of Gallinari would be a crushing blow to a Nuggets team that’s already without Ty Lawson due to a plantar fascia injury. Lawson may be back in a couple of weeks, but whether or not he’ll immediately be capable of pushing the pace to the level he has all season remains to be seen.
Gallinari is second only to Lawson in scoring in Denver, and is averaging 16.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 32.8 minutes per game this season.
Report: Khris Middleton could return to Bucks before All-Star break
Sources told ESPN.com the Bucks think Middleton, who suffered a hamstring tear just days before the season began, “has a chance” to return to the lineup during a three-game homestand next month before the All-Star break.
Whether Middleton ultimately makes his season debut before or after the All-Star Game, he is expected to be kept on a minutes restriction as he eases way his back from the injury, sources said.
The Bucks have started Tony Snell, who has held his own as an outside shooter. But Middleton will upgrade Milwaukee on Snell’s biggest strength and provide massive defensive improvement. After a strong start, the Bucks have really struggled lately on that end.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has led Milwaukee to a 20-21 record, though the team is better than its won-loss mark indicates. The Bucks will be even better with Middleton, who will rival Jabari Parker as their second-best player and fit seamlessly.
Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)