You'd be forgiven if you were starting to think that Danilo Gallinari was Italian for Frederic Weis. The Knicks' second dip into foreign waters has been MIA since coming to our shores with a bulging disc in his back but Newsday reports that the medical staff has finally given their OK for him to start playing basketball.
He's set to take part in his first full team practice tomorrow. Problem is, Gallinari doesn't seem to be itching to get back on the hardwood. Gallinari said that he's still feeling pain in his back and says that it isn't getting any better. The Newsday piece closes with this heartwarming piece of news for Knick fans hoping that the ailing Italian is going to be of much use to the team this season, "The Knicks are very high on him, but there are some underlying concerns about his willingness to get back on the court."
The Knicks could really use him, especially after Wilson Chandler limped off the floor during last night's loss to the Celtics. It's being diagnosed as a minor sprain of the left knee but Chandler suffered the same injury toward the end of last season and said it took him a month to feel right. With Jared Jeffries already out and Eddy Curry relegated to looking mean on the bench, the team could use a few more bodies in the frontcourt.
Since the Knicks seem down on the idea of Gallinari spending time in the D-League to hone his skills, he needs to contribute to the NBA team or he was a waste of a pick. It's not like the Knicks are so good that a rookie can just bide his time and learn from the vets, they need guys who can play and, more than that, want to play if they're going to change their ways this season.