The Italian Stallion's back is still not 100 percent.
Still resting an injured back he suffered during summer league in Las Vegas last month, KnicksNew York Knicks first-round pick Danilo Gallinari has withdrawn from the Italian National Team, which kicks off today its Eurobasket Qualifier tournament vs. Serbia.
According to Gallinari's father, Vittorio, his 6-10 Italian prodigy will sit out all the games so he can be fully healthy when the Knicks kick off training camp in their new site Sept. 30 in Saratoga. Italy did not qualify for the 2008 Games so it must start the process of making it in 2012.
A source said Gallinari made the decision on his own, though the Knicks are relieved he is not playing and are appreciative considering they know how much playing for the Italian National Team means to him.
Gallinari played just one summer-league game, injuring his back in his lone contest, after getting knocked around by Cleveland's Tractor Traylor. Gallinari sat out the final four games, raising questions about his durability for his rookie season.
The Knicks announced only Gallinari had sustained a sore back and was not more specific. Knicks president Donnie Walsh said yesterday he can't comment on Gallinari's injury because of HIPPA laws.
However, Knicks brass believes Gallinari showed enough offensive versatility to make the rotation this season and believes he will get stronger by camp. His selection at No. 6 led directly to the club ridding itself of 2006 first-rounder Renaldo Balkman.