When we last saw Danilo Gallinari on the court he was a leading scorer for a Denver team that was hot (they won 57 games that year) and was the team nobody wanted to play in the first round.
Then Gallinari tore his ACL right before the playoffs, dooming the Nuggets in the playoffs. He went off to the Steadman Clinic of Vail, Colorado, to get his knee work done and the only question seemed to be if he would miss the start of the 2013-14 season as he recovered.
“Steadman? It is clear that if I could go back, I would not go to Steadman Clinic. I will write a book on my last year and half with some things never told. But it is better not to talk about that. I just say that one month after my surgery, Steadman said that he would not work anymore. I made a wrong choice but he was considered one of the best surgeons and his clinic was within a hour’s drive from Denver. Now I see what happened to Giuseppe Rossi, Westbrook, Vonn and many other maybe not famous that went to his Clinic”
Remember Russell Westbrook went there and had to have a second knee surgery to clean up a loose stitch after the first one. In Gallinari’s case he had a quicker repair done because the tearing was not seen as bad, the second time he had the full reconstruction. Done elsewhere.
Gallinari is trying to move on and says he is back, and so might Denver this year. Injuries robbed this team last season (Gallinari was out all season, JaVale McGee played just five games and a lot of other core guys missed time) and there is an eagerness to regain their old form.
But Gallinari knows there is a process for him that is mental as well as physical (see what Derrick Rose is going through with Team USA).
“I feel great. I am ready to return seven months after my last knee surgery. I had a few contact practices in Milan. Now I have to re-gain confidence and be ready. I will need to be patient because after more than a year without basketball you have to work also on the mental aspect. But I want to be a better player than before the injury.”
Hopefully he can stay healthy and start there.