Che Brutto: Danilo Gallinari's Back is Acting Up Again

When all is said and done in the 2008-09 Knicks season, Stephon Marbury may actually see more playing time than Danilo Gallinari. The Italian rookie suffered a back injury when he was pancaked by Tractor Traylor during a summer-league game, but was believed to be making progress in his recovery. That progress has stalled, however, and it's unknown when Gallinari will be getting back on the court.

The forward will not be with the team in San Antonio or Memphis the next two nights as he stayed at home to undergo a series of tests on his aching back. The pain caused by his bulging disc is spreading to his legs, which may neccesitate a new course of treatment. If that's the case, a Knicks source told the New York Post, Gallinari's season will be jeopardized.

That's not going to have a tremendous on-court impact for the Knicks in the short term. Gallinari hasn't played since the second game of the season, and didn't seem likely to make any appearances in non-blowouts anytime in the near future. If he's not even able to practice, however, it will make it much harder for Gallinari to get up to NBA speed before his sophomore season.

The Knicks rolled the dice on a player that wasn't going to help them this season so that they could reap benefits down the road. A lost year will only make that harder, since Gallinari will have to start contributing soon to justify being picked sixth overall in the draft. The injury has made it very hard to determine how far away Gallinari is from that point. If we don't get another look at him, he'll remain a question mark next season when the Knicks are going to start needing some answers about where they're heading in the long term.  

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