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Danilo Gallinari Needs Second Surgery on ACL Tear, Is Stuck in a Time Warp

Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari underwent surgery this morning to reconstruct an ACL tear in his left knee.

 

The surgery was performed by team Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Steve Traina at Midtown Surgical Center.

 

“It was recently determined that the procedure that Danilo underwent on his knee this past summer was insufficient,” Nuggets General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly said.

 

“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.”

 

via Denver Nuggets F Danilo Gallinari Undergoes Knee Surgery | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE DENVER NUGGETS.

Danilo Gallinari is a man stuck in time.

For 75 games of the 2012-13 season, the Denver Nuggets were one of the best teams in the NBA. Undoubtedly an underdog with the playoffs on the horizon, they nonetheless seemed poised to put a scare in the elite of the Western Conference. As March became April, a 2-2 series in the second round against the Thunder or Spurs seemed a rational, if optimistic, dream. Yet questions remained, particularly about the efficacy of George Karl’s rotations, schemes and, perhaps most bizarrely, winning credentials. Hope coupled with anxiety, and as the playoffs loomed, so too did their standing as a referendum on what Denver — and Karl — had built.

Gallinari was a vital piece for the Nuggets, particularly on the offensive end. As Denver struggled to shoot the ball from distance, he managed to create space for himself and his teammates. His solid three-point shooting helped to stretch defenses that were all too keen on packing the paint, and his explosive cutting and creative use of what little territory he could stake out made him a perfect fit for the motion-heavy attack Karl used. If the skeptics were to be combated, Gallinari’s performance stood as a primary rebuttal.

But at that moment in April, when fans, players, coaches and executives had all simultaneously hit their resonant frequencies, Gallo’s knee betrayed him.There would be no deliverance from uncertainty. The Nuggets lost to the Golden State Warriors in the first round, and that was that. No running it back, no second chance to find answers. Preconceived notions were their own evidence. Reputations became verdicts rendered; doubts, prophecies self-fulfilled. Those failures gave reason to change the course, and Denver underwent a veritable organizational metamorphosis. Everything became new — players, coaches, executives. But the transition to a new era has been rife with its own perils. And it’s allowed that moment, when the future seemed so bright  yet so fleeting for the Nuggets, to linger. It’s created a kind of limbo in which Denver fans dwell, informed by the calendar that it’s ostensibly 2014 but unable to shake the sensation that some cosmic force forgot about leaving their season on pause.

In need of a second surgery on the same injury, out for the remainder of another season; Danilo Gallinari knows the feeling. His doubt is Denver’s doubt, whether either party wants it or not. In time, though, the questions of 2013 will fade. Unfortunately for Gallo and the Nuggets, they’re going to be replaced by a whole slew of new problems.

Andrew Lynch

When God Shammgod created the basketball universe, Andrew Lynch was there. His belief in the superiority of advanced statistics and the eventual triumph of expected value-based analytics stems from the fact that he’s roughly as old as the concept of counting. With that said, he still loves the beauty of basketball played at the highest level — it reminds him of the splendor of the first Olympics — and the stories that spring forth from the games, since he once beat Homer in a game of rock-paper-scissors over a cup of hemlock. Dude’s old.