Celtics forward Danilo Gallinari tore his left meniscus during a World Cup qualifying game, the Italian National Team announced, with no timetable for his return.
Gallinari is considered an important offseason acquisition for the reigning Eastern Conference champs, and according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the injury is not as serious as originally feared.
Nonetheless, Gallinari will miss the EuroBasket tournament and his status for training camp is unknown. NBA training camps tip off in about a month.
“It hurts like hell,” Gallinari tweeted in confirming the injury (translated by EuroHoops). wrote. “Not so much the knee that it gave up in yesterday’s game that we won again thanks to our character. That will take some time — fortunately less than expected — to get back to normal. It damn hurts to give up this national team dream. We wanted to treat ourselves to magical nights. In my own house. In our house.”
Gallinari, 34, is 6-foot-11 and appeared in 66 games with the Hawks last season, averaging 11.7 points and 4.7 rebounds, shooting 38 percent from the field. Along with point guard Malcolm Brogdon, Gallinari is expected to be one of two veterans who will offer Boston a boost.
He was actually traded from the Hawks to the Spurs as part of the Dejounte Murray deal, then agreed to a deal with the Celtics via the midlevel exception.
He suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of the qualifier game vs. Georgia, limping to the locker room with the assistance of a teammate and trainer.
“It’s tough to talk about basketball after what we saw happen to Danilo,” Italy captain Luigi Datome said. “We wish him, of course, the best.”
Recovery and return from a torn meniscus often vary, with much depending on the extent of the tear and ensuing treatment.