It's still unclear when Carmelo Anthony will be back

Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks commits a first-half

Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks commits a first-half offensive foul against Paul George of the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. (Nov. 20, 2013) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

TORONTO -- Carmelo Anthony didn't make the trip here, and there is no clear timetable for his return from a sprained left ankle. But Mike Woodson hopes Anthony will play on the Knicks' three-game Texas trip, which begins Thursday.

When Anthony got hurt Monday night in Orlando, he sounded confident he would play in the Knicks' next game on Christmas Day. But he missed his third straight game Saturday night and hasn't spoken to reporters since after Monday's game.

J.R. Smith was asked about Anthony's ankle and said "apparently it's extremely bad." Woodson wouldn't expand on that.

"His ankle's bad enough where he can't play," he said. "So we just got to go with that, and when he's ready to get back out on the floor, he'll let us know and the medical people will guide us in that area as well. If he can't run and jump because of his ankle, he needs to nurse it back and get it ready to go, and then he'll let us know."

The Knicks have been injury-plagued all season and can't afford to be without Anthony for much longer. They have struggled to score without him and don't have nearly the firepower they did last season to compensate for his loss.

The Knicks' next game is Thursday in San Antonio. Anthony will have had nine days off if he's available for that game.

"I'm hoping he will be," Woodson said. "When Melo's ready to play, he'll play. My track record with Melo has been he plays. And if he's hurt, he's hurt, and you got to believe that. So I'm sure when he's ready to get back out on the floor from his ankle, he'll let us know and medical will let me know."

No World PeaceMetta World Peace sat out with left knee soreness. World Peace, who is scheduled to have platelet-rich plasma therapy on his knee on Jan. 6, played Friday because the Knicks were so undermanned. There has been talk about World Peace sitting out until after his knee procedure.

"His knee was sore, so he's shut down," Woodson said. "We'll just have to take it a day at a time with him."

Pain in the neck

Andrea Bargnani had trouble moving his neck after the game and said he's been playing with a stiff neck for the last eight to 10 days. He played only 4:16 in the second half, but making no impact on defense or the boards had more to do with that than his neck did.

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