LOS ANGELES - Phil Jackson says Carmelo Anthony is coming along well after undergoing knee surgery last month and hopes he can return to his near-MVP form, which isn't a given.

Anthony had his left knee surgically repaired last month and will be 31 in May, but Jackson said Anthony is doing well and hopes he can be back on the court in June. Jackson gave a four-to-six-month timetable.

"We're pleased with how everything has come out so far -- pictures of his quadriceps and what they look like to the reports from the doctors,'' Jackson said. "I know he's up at the facility getting therapy now. So I think he's positive about it.

"We hope the rehab goes great and then his training position in the summer, hope that goes terrific, because here's a guy we want to get back to something like he was three years ago.

" . . . He played on one leg, it seemed like to me. Even from the start, it looked like he was favoring that leg. We hope he gets through that and moves on because he's the leader of this team and he's got to be that.''

The Knicks never issued a prognosis when Anthony underwent a patella tendon debridement and repair Feb. 19. Jackson said the doctors told him four to six months.

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"That's a projected thing,'' he said. "They can't tell until they look at it, the rehab, et cetera. We hope that at some point in June he's able to really start training again to the position where he can put himself so he's really ready for the year.''

Phil on Fisher: 'T' time

Jackson said he has been impressed with Derek Fisher's demeanor and positive approach amid the losing, but Jackson said he would be more vocal with the officials.

"I would have gotten thrown out of some games at least,'' he said. "Get after some referees. Maybe he thinks his contract doesn't support him in having technicals and paying for those technicals.''

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Basketball gods

Jackson was asked about last month's tweet that the Knicks-Cavs game gave the basketball gods "heartburn.'' He had never said at whom it was directed.

"It's how you share the ball and how you play the game and your conduct and character while you're out there playing the game is important,'' Jackson said. "That's for anybody who resonates with it -- could be the fans, could be [the media], could be Cleveland, could be the Knicks' players.''