Carmelo Anthony continues to experience soreness in his surgically repaired left knee, which could put his status for next week’s All-Star Game in question.
Anthony underwent an MRI on Friday that confirmed there is no structural damage, the Knicks said. But there is a growing concern about Anthony, who sat out Friday night’s game against the Grizzlies and was sidelined because of his problematic knee for the third time in seven games. Entering Friday night, the Knicks were 0-6 when Anthony did not play.
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“It’s inflammation,” Derek Fisher said. “I think he’ll be fine long term. We just have to get into these next set of days into the break and hopefully we can kind of re-evaluate him from there in terms of it not being something that’s reoccurring.”
Anthony didn’t look himself in his past two games, shooting 4-for-16 in Tuesday night’s loss to Boston and 4-for-18 in Thursday night’s loss to Detroit. He clearly wasn’t getting any lift on his jump shot or when he tried finishing inside.
The Knicks have two more games before the All-Star break and are officially listing Anthony as “day-to-day.” They haven’t ruled him out for Sunday’s game against the Nuggets.
Fisher said there hasn’t been any thought of shutting down Anthony until after the break. “Not at this point,” he said. “We haven’t thrown out Sunday and Tuesday in terms of him playing. So right now it’s day-to-day. If it needs to change, we’ll make the change.”
Anthony, who was voted to start in the Feb. 14 All-Star Game in Toronto, was in a similar position last season, when he put off knee surgery because he wanted to play in the All-Star Game in New York. There’s no talk of surgery this time, but Fisher said the Knicks should have some say in whether he plays in this season’s All-Star Game.
“If he physically shouldn’t play, then that’s a decision that he should make,” Fisher said. “And if he’s able to play in the games with us, if we feel like it’s not endangering him long term, then that’s the decision that includes and involves us. We won’t necessarily be able to keep him from playing if he wants to play.”
Before Anthony’s knee started acting up, he missed two games because of a sprained right ankle. Fisher believes Anthony overcompensated on his left side when he returned, which led to the knee soreness.
The Knicks also were without Lance Thomas on Friday night because of a mild concussion. He’s in the NBA concussion protocol and also will be unavailable Sunday.