An MRI scan of Danilo Gallinari's injured left knee confirmed that he suffered a torn ACL in a game against the Dallas Mavericks, the Denver Nuggets announced Friday. The injury means Gallinari's season is over.
No timetable has been announced for when he will undergo surgery to repair the tear, but doctors typically wait for the swelling in the injured knee to subside and range of motion to return before performing surgery on a damaged ACL.
Gallinari left the game against the Mavericks in the second period when his left knee twisted and buckled when he tried to drive to the basket. The 24-year-old forward is the team's second-leading scorer on the season at 16.2 points per game, and although the Nuggets are guaranteed a top-4 finish in the Western Conference, this is a big blow to the team as the NBA Playoffs begin.
Head coach George Karl will now be forced to mix and match lineups with Wilson Chandler, Evan Fournier, Jordan Hamilton and others to fill the large void left behind by Gallinari.The Nuggets (52-24) hold a slim lead over the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 3 seed in the West. Maximizing homecourt advantage in the playoffs will be essential for Denver now. They are 34-3 at the Pepsi Center this season.