Los Angeles Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari will be out “longer than expected” after he was diagnosed with a partial glute tear, the Los Angeles Times’ Brad Turner reported Wednesday. The Clippers said Gallinari will be re-evaluated in January.
The 29-year-old missed 13 games between Nov. 7 and Dec. 3 nursing a strained left glute. He returned to the floor Dec. 6, but he hit the shelf again Dec. 11 and has missed the Clippers’ last five games.
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Gallinari, who’s in the first year of a three-year, $64.7 million deal, is averaging 13.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game on 34.5 percent shooting from the field and 25.8 percent shooting from three.
Gallinari being out even longer is yet another blow to an already-shorthanded Clippers team. They’ve seen Patrick Beverley, Blake Griffin, Milos Teodosic and Gallinari all miss time this season due to various injuries. It has been a non-stop downpour that doesn’t appear ready to let up anytime soon.
With so many injuries, the Clippers’ season feels lost with Christmas around the corner. When Gallinari and Teodosic made their returns it was a hopeful sign of improvement for the injury-plagued Clippers, but just like that they’re once again without a key player.
In Gallo’s absence, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers will deploy a unit that will see more of Sam Dekker and Wesley Johnson at the three position for the depleted L.A. squad that is also missing the services of Blake Griffin (knee).
Gallinari was expected to be one of the cornerstones of the Clippers this season after the Denver Nuggets shipped him to the West Coast as part of a blockbuster three-team trade back in the offseason.
Known as an injury-prone player, Danilo Gallinari is an effective weapon with a knack for draining shots from long range when healthy. He is a career 36.7 percent shooter from deep. Gallinari’s current contract won’t expire until 2020.