With both hands buried in his pockets and his voice downcast, Danilo Gallinari looked at the media standing before him inside the Clippers’ locker room Wednesday night and talked about how his latest examination revealed a partial tear to his left glute.
The 6-foot-10 forward even gave a timetable for his return, saying he hopes to be back in “six weeks” after going down for the second time this season with a glute injury.
The Clippers said Gallinari will continue to rehabilitate his injury and will be re-evaluated in January.
Gallinari was out five weeks when he suffered his first glute injury on Nov. 5.
“More or less, it’s the same thing I did before, but maybe a little more time,” he said. “So the rehab I did in four weeks, you’re going to spread it out in six weeks instead of four weeks.”
Gallinari missed 13 games the first time, came back and played in two more and was re-injured against the Washington Wizards on Dec. 9.
“If it’s not the same [injury], it’s a little worse,” Gallinari said. “I’ve seen different doctors and it’s a weird injury. Even the doctors, they saw a couple of cases, but they didn’t see a lot of cases like this kind of injury, whatever it is. It could be 10% worse, 20% worse or the same. But it’s still a muscle tear.”
He has missed six consecutive games with the new injury.
“There was a lot of swelling the first time,” Gallinari said. “There was a lot of swelling in the second time. But they were able to drain a lot of the blood that was inside. So there is no swelling now, but a tear, which is not good.
Gallinari, 29, has appeared in 11 games this season, averaging 13.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 31.8 minutes per game.
He admitted that it has been “very frustrating.”
“But it’s part of the job, I guess,” Gallinari said. “What happened to this team honestly, injury-wise, I’ve never seen on any team that I’ve played with before. But honestly, the work that the coaches and the guys are doing right now is pretty amazing to me. They are doing a great job fighting every game, being together. They are doing a great job, honestly. Hopefully at one point we get everybody back together and play together again.”
Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Wesley Johnson, who has been experiencing soreness in his left foot, will be out “probably for five to seven days.” Johnson missed his second straight game Wednesday.