The Denver Nuggets have been crushed by injuries this year. Nene was hurt earlier this year. Rudy Fernandez missed significant time. Danilo Gallinari was just getting back into his groove after missing a month.
But just as quickly as it seemed the team may have been starting to jell again, it’s falling apart with ANOTHER Gallo injury. This time, it’s a fractured thumb on his non-shooting hand.
”I hit my thumb to the backboard. I was trying to block a shot,” Gallinari said. ”I tried to play through, but it was getting worse second by second. I didn’t know it was broken, but it hurt a lot.”
Couple this injury with the loss of Andre Miller to a shoulder contusion and the Nuggets are going to have to mix up their lineups yet again.
The Gallinari injury is the worst news. He’s their best player and primary scoring threat. Now, he could be out for four weeks.
“I don’t know how long it’s going to be. It’s not going to be short. It’s a fracture. The doctor told me the fracture takes four weeks to heal. Hopefully I can put something on and play sooner than that.”
Denver is a game and a half away from falling out of the playoff picture. But they’re also a game and a half from catching the Dallas Mavericks, who crushed them last night, and the Memphis Grizzlies for the 5th seed. There’s almost no way they make up ground without Gallinari in the mix. And now with an on-court leader like Nene gone, there’s not much the Nuggs can fall back on.
Phoenix, Utah and Minnesota have an opportunity to cash in here and make a push for a spot that’s almost sure to be vacated by the Nuggets. Denver, meanwhile, has to regroup and figure out what its doing next season. This injury, under these circumstances, will be too much to overcome.