Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari said that his doctors told him that he should be ready to return to game-action by the end of November, according to a report Wednesday from Sportando.
The 25-year-old, who was selected sixth overall by the New York Knicks in 2008, tore his ACL in a game against the Dallas Mavericks last April. The setback came less than four months after he signed a four-year, $42 million extension with the Nuggets.
He said he's happy with the progress he's making in rehab even though he still has a long way to go:
"I'm very happy with how things are going even if the path is still long. It's been a summer of hard work. Eight hours a day. You see the ball just in picture and the time never passes. But I can see the results of the hard work and according to the doctors I should be ready for the end of November."
The Nuggets tip off their regular season on Oct. 30 with a game on the road against the Sacramento Kings in the Sleep Train Arena. Once Gallinari returns, he will be reinserted into a core that includes young forwards Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler in the front court, with Javale McGee, along with Ty Lawson and Randy Foye in the backcourt. The Nuggets also added guard Nate Robinson and young forward-center J.J. Hickson this summer.
In 71 games for the Nuggets last season, Gallinari averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists. He also said on Wednesday that if he's healthy, he'd like to play for the Italian national team next summer in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup to be held in Spain.