By Ben Golliver
Danilo Gallinari suffered a left knee injury during Denver's 95-94 defeat of Dallas at the Pepsi Center on Thursday night. The Nuggets announced that the Italian forward will undergo an MRI on Friday, but provided no additional specifics as to the severity or nature of the injury.
Yahoo! Sports reports that an "initial examination suggested" that Gallinari "likely" suffered a torn ACL, an injury that would almost certainly require season-ending surgery. The Denver Post also reported that Gallinari "heard a pop" and that the fear is a torn ACL.
With a little more than four minutes remaining in the second quarter and the Mavericks leading 38-35, Gallinari attacked the paint going to his left but appeared to come up lame as he planted to attempt a shot in traffic. Gallinari hopped off the court, avoiding putting any weight on his left leg, while holding his left knee in evident pain.
Denver's training staff immediately attended to him and he was taken off the court on a wheelchair. He departed with nine points (on three-for-seven shooting), one rebound and one assist in 16 minutes.
Gallinari, 24, is the Nuggets' second-leading scorer, averaging 16.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. The No. 6 pick in the 2008 draft is in the first year of a four-year contract worth $42 million. Denver improved to 52-24 with the win, good for third-best in the Western Conference. Dallas dropped to 36-39.