Danilo Gallinari initially was injured in a World Cup Qualifier game for the Italian national team. What was once feared to be a torn meniscus that would keep him out for a couple of months is now confirmed to be a torn ACL, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
After receiving further evaluation, Boston’s Danilo Gallinari has been diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee, per sources. This is the same ACL that Gallinari tore in 2013.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 2, 2022
First and foremost, this is a huge blow for Gallinari who was extremely excited to join the Celtics after trying to join the team on different occasions before. In his introductory conference, he spoke about how this was the fulfillment of a dream, and now at 34 years old, re-tearing an ACL is just brutal.
Gallinari injured his knee in a weird-looking non-contact movement in the qualifier game, but there was a lot of optimism that it wasn’t as bad as it looked. Early reports indicated that his ligaments were fully in-tact. Charania later reported that the Celtics did further, more thorough examinations recently, leading to the full diagnosis of a torn ACL. The timing isn’t great as we near training camp, but it does leave the door open for a possible return at the end of the season.
ACL injuries have a return timetable of 6-12 months. While Gallinari’s advanced status in his career does present hurdles, it’s not inconceivable that he could see the floor near the end of the regular season. Not likely, but not inconceivable.
Until then, Sam Hauser comes into focus as a player who will get more opportunities now. Boston may now look to apply for a Disabled Player Exception or seek someone at the veteran minimum for more insurance at that position. Going into the season, the Celtics will have time to adapt their rotation and strategy without Gallinari for the foreseeable future.
This is a big blow for the Boston Celtics, but having increased depth this season (on paper) allows the team to be better equipped for this kind of injury compared to year’s past. The Celtics have about 4 weeks left to finalize their training camp roster and to prepare for Gallinari’s absence.