GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Carmelo Anthony said he was lucky he didn't get hurt worse on his nasty fall last Thursday against the Lakers. But his left ankle is still sore and could keep him out for a third straight game.

Anthony called himself a game-time decision against the Nets Wednesday night at the Garden. But he talked about being smart and making sure he's healthy before he plays.

"I think the best thing for me, the best thing for the team, the best thing for the organization is to have me healthy at this point," Anthony said. "Right now it's about being smart. If it was late in the season, I probably would be singing a different tune. Right now it's still early in the season. It's a matter of seeing how I feel, being 100 percent, and not letting anything linger for the rest of the season."

Anthony ran for the first time Tuesday. He said the ankle was bothering him, but he planned to come back later last night for a workout and see how he feels Wednesday.

Anthony said he's fortunate he's not in worse condition. He landed awkwardly after a hard foul from Dwight Howard and was concerned because his back, hip and knee were hurting him more than his ankle. Now it's just the ankle.


"I never took a fall like that," Anthony said. "To tell you the truth I think I got lucky, especially after looking at the fall, going through with the fall, I got lucky during that fall.

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"My knee is fine, hip is fine. All that stuff healed. Right now it's just my ankle. It's not sprained right now. It's badly bruised. There's still some inflammation in there."

Coach Mike Woodson said he won't rush Anthony back. The next game after the Nets is Friday against Chicago.

The Eastern Conference-leading Knicks are moving closer to becoming whole.

Amar'e Stoudemire practiced for the first time since October knee surgery. Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby could return this week and Iman Shumpert is expected back next month.

"Everybody is getting healthy to where they need to be," Anthony said. "I'm excited about that. There's a lot of light at the end of the tunnel. I don't want to sit here and sound sad or anything. We're still first in the East. We're still top of our division. Just seeing those guys on the way back, they're just going to bring so much more to our team."