Danilo Gallinari eased down a hallway inside Madison Square Garden on Monday night, his sharp navy blue suit making him look more like a model than a basketball player sidelined because of an injury.
Gallinari stopped for a few minutes to listen to a reporter talk about Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley returning to play against the New York Knicks after sitting out five games because of a sore right knee.
“Yes, Patrick is playing and I am not,” Gallinari said, smiling.
Gallinari sat out a seventh consecutive game because of a strained left glute, his return still far away, according to his calculations.
“My guess is a week to 10 days is when I’ll be back,” he said. “At least that’s my hope. I wish it could be sooner, but it’s not working out that way.”
Gallinari has been working out on this trip, even saying “it’s not really pain” in his glute.
His body just isn’t ready yet.
“It’s discomfort now,” he said. “Since it’s a tear, you’ve got to wait for the fibers to kind of get back together and you’ve got to strengthen it. So now I just started barely running on the ... [treadmill] machine. That’s it.”
The Clippers have lost nine consecutive games, making Gallinari all the more eager to return to help them get out of their rut.
“Every time when I’m not playing I’m anxious,” said Gallinari, who was averaging 12.8 points and 4.6 rebounds before he was injured. “I want to play. But after the fact that I went to play before and I had pain and stuff, my body is more cautious on doing the right thing.”
Guard Milos Teodosic also remains sidelined because of a plantar fascia injury in his right foot.
Teodosic also mde the trip, but when he’ll return remains uncertain.
He has been sidelined since the second game of the season.
Teodosic was averaging 5.5 points and 4.0 assists before he was injured.