Apr 4, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Nuggets/Gallo Botch Knee Recovery

It was announced on Tuesday, January 21st that Danilo Gallinari will have surgery to repair his damaged ACL in the very near future.  The Nuggets and Gallinari both botched this situation in grand fashion.  In April, when Gallo injured his knee just before the playoffs, it was announced that he had torn the ACL and MCL in his knee and that surgery would be needed.  Instead of surgery on both ligaments, it was decided to repair the MCL through surgery and heal the ACL with alternate methods.  What alternate methods?  With the medical technology that exists today, having the surgery and a 6-8 month rehab window, made perfect sense at the time the injury was sustained.  This would have put Gallinari in line for a return just after the first of the year in 2014, with a month or 2 to get his conditioniong back and be ready for the playoffs.  There is plenty of precedence to back up the surgery being completed last April or May.  The Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson and The Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III have both returned to the NFL in less than 9 months after similar injuries.   However this situation was screwed up and whomever made the decision have changed the course of the Nuggets 2013-2014 season, and very likely, their 2014-2015 season as well.  With Gallo getting the surgery on his ACL in January, the 9 month period that would be anticipated for a return to basketball activities puts him in line for some work in October or November of next year.  Then the issue becomes, is Gallinari in  a good enough place mentally with the injury that he decides to return to the court and continue getting stronger while playing a lesser role on the Nuggets next fall? We saw last year what happened with Derrick Rose.  His knee had been cleared for full participation in March of last year and yet he did not play at all for the remainder of the season, including the playoffs when the Bulls were making a surprising run without him. He has since admitted that he was not mentally right to play on the repaired knee and still played tentative enough this year that it cost him another injury as he was still favoring the repaired knee.  The Nuggets are learning a very difficult lesson on the decisions made regarding injuries to key players and they are feeling it in a big way in 2014!

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