How much research did Donnie Walsh and the Knicks’ training staff conduct into the physical condition of Danilo Gallinari prior to the young Italian being selected as the 6th overall pick in last June’s NBA draft? Sadly, that’s just one of the questions (indirectly) posed by the New York Post’s Mark Hale this morning, as Gallinari left the team and the country yesterday, reportedly contemplating season-ending back surgery.

That a 20-year-old still has pain dating from an injury suffered in July has led to mounting speculation he has a degenerative condition and more than one bulging disc.

On Monday, he visited a New York surgeon, and Gallinari plans to see two more surgeons in Italy, his home country, and return no later than Monday. Team president Donnie Walsh expects Gallinari to see one more doctor after the trip – Gallinari has already seen four – and then have a decision next week.“We’ve always known that there could be a possibility of surgery, but all the doctors advised us to do what we’ve done because there’s a good chance that it could get cured that way,” Walsh said.

“That’s my question. Should we continue what we’re doing or will surgery be an answer here?”

A couple of weeks ago, Gallinari – who was not available to the media yesterday – admitted his back and leg pain was not improving, saying, “It doesn’t change much. … I feel always the same discomfort for all the games.”

As Nate Robinson said yesterday, “You should see how much treatment he has to go through just to come out for practice and games.”