Denver, CO – An MRI taken Friday on Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari's left knee revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament that will sideline the team's second-leading scorer for the remainder of the season.
Gallinari had to be helped off the court by teammates after his left knee buckled during the second quarter of Thursday's 95-94 win over Dallas. He will undergo surgery at a date yet to be determined.
The native Italian was having one of the most productive seasons of his five- year NBA career at the time of the injury, having averaged a career-best 16.2 points along with 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists over 71 games for the 52-24 Nuggets.
"We're extremely disappointed for Gallo. He was having a career year in scoring and rebounding and was a huge reason for our success," Nuggets executive vice president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri said. "We will obviously support him and be there for him throughout his recovery. "Knowing his work ethic and commitment to getting back on the floor, we are confident he will come back stronger than ever next season."
Gallinari's injury comes at an inopportune time for the Nuggets, who currently own just a half-game lead on Memphis for the No. 3 playoff seed in the Western Conference with six remaining in the regular season.