Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari suffered a right ankle injury, tearing multiple ligaments and spraining another on Feb. 26 against the Dallas Mavericks. It's unclear when he will return to the court.
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Latest on Gallinari's Timeline for Recovery
Tuesday, March 8
Gallinari is ahead of schedule rehabbing his ankle, according to Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported on March 1 Gallinari was expected to miss a month.
On Feb. 28, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone told reporters that Gallinari will be out for "an extended period of time," via Dempsey.
Gallinari's Injury a Setback During Career Year
Gallinari missed the entire 2013-14 season after undergoing surgery to repair an ACL tear, but he returned to appear in 59 games a season ago. He has been healthy for most of the 2015-16 season, with a sprained left ankle and bruised knee representing minor exceptions.
Through 53 games, Gallinari is averaging a career-high 19.5 points per contest on 41 percent shooting from the field and 36.4 percent shooting from three-point range.
The Italian shooter has emerged as the most reliable scorer for a team that's struggling to uncover an identity as it molds several young players such as Emmanuel Mudiay and Gary Harris. Head coach Mike Malone had reiterated before the season started that he would try to play to Gallinari's strengths.
"We're going to try to let him use all the strengths he has as a player," Malone said, per NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper. "I think ball-handling and playing pick-and-roll, especially when he's a 4, we're going to play small ball at times, I think that puts a lot pressure on opposing defenses."
With Wilson Chandler out for the season following hip surgery, the Nuggets will have to lean on Most Improved Player candidate Will Barton to pick up the slack at the 3. And if Barton's production has been any indication, he's capable of shouldering a heavier load.