Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari says he is feeling better after undergoing back surgery earlier this month and hopes to start rehabbing soon.
Gallinari had a procedure to shave down bone surrounding a nerve root at Manhattan's Hospital for Special Surgery on April 7 after being plagued by back soreness during his rookie year.
"I'm feeling good," said Gallinari, who attended last night's Rangers playoff loss to the Capitals at the Garden with teammate Nate Robinson. "Hopefully, I can start rehabbing in two to three weeks."
Gallinari, who was picked sixth overall in the 2008 draft, averaged 6.1 points in 28 games this season. He is expected to recover from the surgery in six to eight weeks.
"I'm feeling much better now . . . getting around pretty good," Gallinari said between signing autographs and taking pictures with fans during the second intermission last night.
"I've got some discomfort in my leg," he said, adding that he has been told that is normal. "It's going to go away."
Gallinari, who shot well and showed flashes of the talent that led the Knicks to draft him, said he is looking forward to a clean slate and a fresh opportunity with the Knicks. "I just hope to start over,'' he said, "and be 100 percent for next season."
-- KATIE STRANG