Since signing with the Boston Celtics last summer, Danilo Gallinari has been awaiting an opportunity to make his debut, which has been severely delayed due to an ACL injury he sustained while playing for the Italian national team.
However, in recent weeks Gallinari has begun to amp up his rehab, leaving some fans optimistic that we could see him donning a Celtics uniform before the end of the season. When speaking to the media following a March 23 practice, Derrick White discussed a potential Gallinari return.
“I mean, he’s working hard,” White said. “He doesn’t seem to miss any time I watch him shoot. I know he’s working towards it. And it’s good to see him moving around, and doing things that we’re used to seeing Gallo do.”
Last season, Gallinari played 66 games for the Atlanta Hawks, averaging 11.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game while shooting 48.5% from two-point range and 38.1% from deep.
Danilo Gallinari Gives Fresh Update on Recovery
On March 14, Gallinari released a statement to his social media accounts, noting how his recovery is going well and that he felt like a return to competitive basketball was drawing closer for him.
“On this path every day is a victory, the body improves, the leg improves and you feel better and better. The small daily challenges with myself give me the motivation to improve. I do tests every week and each positive result gives the team which supports me, the green light to organize the following weeks. There is still a long way to go but the basketball court is getting closer and closer…,” Gallinari wrote.
Gallinari’s blend of size and perimeter scoring was exactly what the Celtics felt they needed after falling to the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA finals; as such, should he return from injury before the postseason, he could be an incredibly valuable addition to Joe Mazzulla’s rotation.
Marcus Smart Breaks Silence After NBA Finals Defeat
“What hurt more than actually losing is the fact of how close we were,” Smart said. “We were able to feel it, taste it, see it, smell it, hear it. And all last summer, that’s all we had to deal with, and hear was, ‘You guys almost did it. You almost made it.’ Close only counts with horseshoes and hand grenades. It definitely sucked.”
The Celtics are now trying to return to the NBA’s biggest stage at the first time of asking but will be facing stiff competition from the likes of the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns, and whichever team emerges as the surprise package of the postseason.
However, Boston can’t get too focused on what lies ahead; instead, they will likely be taking things one game at a time, and that all starts with their March 24 contest against the Philadelphia 76ers, which will be their first game in front of a home crowd since March 9.