Nuggets Danilo Gallinari breaks thumb, could be out month

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In a tight Western Conference the Denver Nuggets are only a game and a half out of the nine seed — and missing the playoffs entirely — and this is not going to help their cause.

Danilo Gallinari — the leading scorer on the Nuggets with 15.6 points per game — broke the thumb on his left hand and could be out a month, the team announced. Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post got quotes from the Italian forward.

“I don’t know how long it’s going to be. It’s not going to be short. It’s a fracture. The doctor told me the fracture takes four weeks to heal. Hopefully I can put something on and play sooner than that.”

The injury happened in the second half when he went to block an Ian Mahinmi dunk. As soon as he did it Gallinari looked at his hand, he came out soon after and went back to the locker room.

With Wilson Chandler back in the fold as of Monday, Denver’s strength was to be depth of scorers, but with Gallinari now out and Andre Miller to get an MRI on the shoulder he injured in that game, suddenly Denver doesn’t look so deep after all.

Gallinari should be back for the playoffs, but the Nuggets need to get there first. Which without Gallo and with JaVale McGee at center instead of Nene, that’s no small task.