Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari underwent ACL surgery, out indefinitely

USA TODAY Sports

The road to returning for Danilo Gallinari was looking good, but Gallo suffered a major setback today.

Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari underwent surgery this morning to reconstruct an ACL tear in his left knee. Gallo's surgery was performed by team Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Steve Traina at Midtown Surgical Center in Denver, CO.

"It was recently determined that the procedure that Danilo underwent on his knee this past summer was insufficient," Nuggets General Manager Tim Connelly said in a statement. "Danilo's knee required that he undergo reconstruction of the ACL, which was successfully completed earlier this morning. Knowing Danilo's drive and work ethic, we look forward to a full recovery and a healthy return to the court next season."

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw showed support for the player he has yet to get a chance to coach.

"It's disappointing," said Shaw. "The fact that we know how hard he worked rehabbing over the last few months to try to get back for this season, and what his drive was, his motivation to try to get back to help the team. So, we feel for him and know how tough a situation that is to deal with. Having gone through all the rehab process that he did, and now to get the news that he had to have surgery and will be out the rest of the season. We're pulling for him, we're going to support him. I know how hard he worked to try to get back to this point. That's only going to help him out in his rehab now, going forward. We're all behind him."

Gallo had stated that he'd hoped to return in late November or early December, but those were words from a player trying to get back to the game he loves. Shaw had been coaching the team as if Gallo was not going return.

"I had hope," said Shaw. "But I was realistic about the fact that it may not happen, as well. I always take the worst-case scenario, so we always did understand that this was a possibility - that he may not be back. It was kind of a tease, as you watched him seemingly get closer and actually get out here on the floor, running up-and-down and shooting, and things like that. Your mind starts to [think], 'Ok, I can see him in the lineup doing this and doing that.' You don't have that now, but I feel for him. I know how hard he's worked. Seeing him in here spending hours with our training staff, our strength coaches, just trying to get that thing in order so he can get back and help the team. And now he can't."

Gallo's initial injury occurred April 4, 2013 against the Dallas Mavericks. Last season he averaged 16.2 points on 41.8% shooting, including 37.3% from downtown.

This is disappointing for those in Nuggetsland and for the team, but it probably doesn't come close to the frustration felt by Gallo.

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