LOS ANGELES: Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari, out of action since February with a right ankle injury, won’t return this NBA season.
Gallinari told the Denver Post on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) that he’s still not fit to play, which means he will have missed the final 23 games of the season.
“Most of the stuff on the court I’m not doing at a game speed,” Gallinari said. “So, you know, shooting, sliding, running, any kind of motion, but not at game speed yet. That’s the level I’m at right now.”
Gallinari averaged a career-best 19.5 points, which leads the Nuggets. He shot 41 percent from the field and averaged 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
He told the Post that the decision not to return for the final games of the NBA season wasn’t made with an eye toward representing Italy at the Summer Olympics in Rio in August.
“I’m paid a lot of money right here in Denver to play basketball and do my job,” he said. “That was my focus, to get back, even if I had to play the last two games, that’s what I wanted to do.
“I can’t do it, so right now the focus is to get healthy and get ready for the summer.”