Representing your country at a competition or tournament is always on every NBA player’s wish list, but teams and league leaders hold their breath at the risk of injury watching their boys play in non-NBA events.
We recently saw Chet Holmgren pick up a Lisfranc right foot injury at a Pro-Am event in Seattle, and now newly added Boston Celtics veteran Danilo Gallinari suffered a serious knee injury while defeating Italy in the qualifiers represented at the FIBA World Championship.
Gallinari suffered a non-contact left knee injury and avoided a serious ACL injury, but was diagnosed with a torn left meniscus.
This is good news for the Celtics in the sense that Gallinari won’t miss the entire 2022-23 season, but he will definitely miss training camp at the end of September and it would be surprising if he were 100% ready to commit to the start the season.
Given his age and the fact that the Boston Celtics don’t want to push him back, it’s highly likely that Danilo Gallinari will not make his debut for Boston until sometime after the first month of the regular season.
The Celtics have also struggled with this type of injury before, with Robert Williams III suffering a torn meniscus at the end of the 2021-22 season that forced him to miss some playoff time.
No schedule has been set for Danilo Gallinari and it is not known if he will have surgery to repair this injury, but when Williams underwent surgery last season he missed about a month.
Everyone is different and everyone’s body heals differently, which is why it’s really hard to say when Gallinari might be ready to go to Boston. The two biggest question marks right now about when he’ll be able to play revolve around how severe the meniscus tear is and whether he’ll need to undergo any sort of treatment to fix it.
The worst-case scenario the Boston Celtics are currently considering regarding Gallinari’s injury is that he won’t be ready to leave until sometime in 2023, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.
Depth has been a big issue in Boston for a while, and while they recently reached the NBA Finals, their lack of overall depth has been on display in this series.
The addition of Danilo Gallinari proved to be a very big deal for Boston this offseason, not only because he brings depth to the forward positions alongside Jayson Tatum, Al Horford and Grant Williams, but he’s also a consistent, experienced presence who understands his role.
During his career, Gallinari has averaged 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and shot 38.2% from three-point range, giving the Celtics everything they need in terms of another scoring threat off the bench.
At the moment, this injury doesn’t mean much for the Celtics as they will continue to go to training camp to correct their mistakes from a season ago and improve in certain areas in order to get through another final run.
However, Gallinari’s injury will be a big “elephant in the room” for this organization until they are able to assess his injury with their own medical staff and doctors. We shouldn’t expect the Celtics to try to replace the veteran now, but should he be sidelined for more than a month, we could see Boston looking to add more depth on the wing.
Grant Williams is more than capable of playing his role for Boston in both forward positions and Sam Hauser is a young winger the team is high on for his three-point shooting skills. Look for these two guys to see more minutes should Gallinari fail to start the 2022-23 season.
Looking at the bigger picture, and looking at the 2022-23 season as a whole, the Boston Celtics really dodged a bullet with Danilo Gallinari’s injury. There will be cause for concern simply due to the fact that Gallinari is 34 and has dealt with knee problems in the past, but a meniscus injury is much better than a cruciate ligament tear.
Gallinari will be available for the Celtics sometime next year but his status for the first game and month of the new season is very much in doubt at this point.