TREVISO, Italy — It seems like a relative eternity since we’ve seen Danilo Gallinari in uniform for the Denver Nuggets, after he suffered a knee injury near the end of the 2013 season that didn’t heal as expected, and required a second surgery in January that kept him sidelined for all 82 games this year.
And he may not be ready for the start of next season, either.
Gallinari was in attendance for adidas Eurocamp, and said that while he’s feeling better physically, he’s not yet to the point where he can workout fully, even though his last surgery took place almost six months ago.
“I’m not 100 percent yet,” Gallinari told NBCSports.com. “I haven’t done any contact (drills), I haven’t played any pickup games or anything like that, so that’s the goal for the summer.”
When asked if he’d be ready for training camp, Gallinari sounded uncertain, but is keeping a positive outlook.
“I’m not sure, but I think I will,” he said. “We are trying to set up some goals, but in my mind it’s to be ready for training camp. It may happen, it may not, but I think it will happen.”
That’s not entirely inspiring for a Denver team that saw injuries derail its chances fairly early on. In addition to the loss of Gallinari, Javale McGee was lost for the season after just five games with a stress fracture in his leg, Nate Robinson was lost midway through the year with a knee injury, and J.J. Hickson and Ty Lawson suffered injuries that similarly sidelined them later in the season.
“It’s something you never want to have, when you have three of the five starters out the whole season,” Gallinari said. “Clearly, if you take out, I don’t know, Duncan, Ginobili, Parker or Leonard from the Spurs, it’s not the same Spurs. Clearly, it was not the same Nuggets. But I think with a healthy team we can do some damage in the Western Conference.”
Gallinari is under contract for two more years and a little more than $22 million. He averaged a career best 16.2 points in 2013, to go along with 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 32.5 minutes per contest.