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Danilo Gallinari could miss all of seven-game homestand

An MRI on Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari confirmed that he suffered a right ankle sprain on Friday, and coach Michael Malone plans to play Denver's upcoming homestand without the team's leading scorer.

"I feel bad for him. He was having a career year," Malone said, according to The Denver Post. "It's always tough when you lose a player like Gallo for us because we're so young and he gives us so many things. But just for him, as a young man, because that's a lot to handle, and for him to hurt it and be out for a long period of time, it's not good for any of us. But we'll support him in every way we can, and hopefully he can come back even better."

The Nuggets begin a seven-game homestand Monday that runs through March 12.

Gallinari's return even after that is unclear. Malone said the Nuggets would have a better idea of a timeline "in the next couple of days" after the ankle swelling goes down.

"He got to meet with the doctors and kind of confer on what's the best course of action," the coach said. "And then just do as much rehab as possible."

Malone said he wasn't sure who would start in Gallinari's place.

"I'm not sure right now, to be very honest," Malone said of his lineup. "We could go with Will [Barton], we could go with JaKarr [Sampson], we could go with [Darrell Arthur]. We could go really small, we could go really big. So we have some options."

Gallinari suffered the injury in the third quarter of the Nuggets' overtime loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.

"It's worse than the one I had just two months ago," said Gallinari, who sat out six games in December with an ankle injury. "It's worse than that one."

Gallinari is averaging a career-high 19.5 points and 5.3 rebounds in 53 games this season.

ESPN staff writer Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.