Galinari is making small strides to return to court

Published: December 11, 2013, 9:00 pm

Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari, of Italy, is wheeled off the court after being injured in the second quarter against the Dallas Mavericks in an NBA basketball game in Denver on Thursday, April 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Arni Stapleton)

by Christopher Dempsey The Denver Post -

Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari is in the process of clearing one of the biggest hurdles of his rehab – running.

“It’s a big step,” Gallinari said. “It’s a big step towards the rehab. That makes you understand a little bit more what the situation (is). It was a pretty good step.”

To be fair to Gallinari, who is working to return from an ACL injury, it is more like jogging than anything else. But it is progress.

“No sideways, just forward and backwards and that’s it,” Gallinari said. “It feels pretty good. It doesn’t feel like I haven’t been running since the fourth of April, a lot of months.

“It doesn’t feel as good as it could be, but it’s going to be better every day.”

There remains no timetable for his return, and he deftly ducked that question on Wednesday, but he is not expected back until after the New Year.

Gallinari is jump-shooting, however, and did some of that post-practice Wednesday.

He’s not getting very far off the ground, but as he noted, he doesn’t jump all that high on his shots anyway.

“It’s just nice to be out there and be able to shoot a little bit,” Gallinari said. “There is nothing that can hurt my knee.”