Boston ahead Danilo Gallinari suffered a torn ACL in his left knee while playing for the Italian national team, the Celtics announced Friday, an injury that could cause him to miss the entire 2022-23 NBA season.
Gallinari previously tore the same ACL in April 2013 and missed the entire 2013–14 season after undergoing a pair of surgeries. The typical recovery time for an ACL tear is six to 12 months, and a source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Gallinari is determined to try to return sometime late in the 2022-23 season.
“This has been a difficult week for me as I have learned the extent of my injury,” Gallinari wrote in a post on social media. “This game means everything to me and not being able to be on the court with my Celtics teammates hurts. I plan to give everything I can to the Celtics organization and my teammates as we chase a title.”
The 34-year-old Gallinari was injured Saturday during a FIBA World Cup qualifying game against Georgia. He grabbed his left knee after a bounce in the lane before staggering to the sideline, holding his back knee as trainers rushed to his aid. Gallinari then limped to the locker room with the help of a staff member and teammate.
The Italian team announced that Gallinari had suffered a torn meniscus.
Gallinari signed a two-year, $13.2 million contract — including a player option for the second season — with the Celtics as a free agent last month. The forward, who averaged 11.7 points and shot 38.1% from 3-point range through 66 games for the Hawks last season, was brought in — along Malcolm Brogdon, who Boston acquired in a trade with the Indiana Pacers in July — to bolster the Celtics’ depth and give them some additional offensive punch after the Eastern Conference champions saw their offense struggle at times in their NBA Finals loss to the Golden State Warriors. Gallinari never played in the Finals during his 13 NBA seasons.
Long considered one of the NBA’s elite shooting big men, Gallinari is a career 38.2% 3-point shooter, and his 1,426 career 3-pointers rank 23rd among active players and third — behind. Kevin Durant and Kevin Love — among players 6-foot-10 or taller.
According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, the Celtics will be able to request a designated player exception to replace Gallinari. That will give the Celtics $3.2 million to sign, trade or claim a player on an expiring contract worth up to that amount.
Including To Horfordthe nearly fully guaranteed deal, Boston has 11 guaranteed contracts on its roster along with several players with non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed deals expected to battle for roster spots in training camp.