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Carmelo Anthony raring to go after long layoff

The New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, left, runs

The New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, left, runs past the Milwaukee Bucks' Jared Dudley during the 2015 NBA global game at the O2 Arena in London on Jan. 15, 2015. Credit: Getty Images / Glyn Kirk

Carmelo Anthony sounded like someone in a good place physically and mentally on the eve of Knicks training camp.

"I'm back," Anthony said at his annual basketball camp at Baruch College Sunday afternoon. "I'm there. I'm back. I feel like myself again. Mentally, physically I feel great. So I'm just ready to go."

The Knicks will host Media Day Monday and many of the questions about the team revolve around Anthony's physical and mental state. So far so good.

Anthony is returning from left knee surgery that ended his season in February. He said he's motivated by having such a long offseason.

"My summer started in February," Anthony said. "It's been a long time coming. Just glad that I could be in a position I'm in right now just to be back."

There were also concerns about how Anthony felt about the players president Phil Jackson drafted and acquired after the Knicks suffered through a franchise-worst 17-65 campaign.

But Anthony tried to allay any worries from that standpoint. He endorsed the moves Jackson made. Anthony has worked out with and scrimmaged with many of the new players and thinks they're already building chemistry.

"I've been with them since kind of August just off and on, working out, little minicamps here and there and just playing at my gym," Anthony said. "I'm excited about kind of what's going on and what's going to happen.

"I don't want to give you all anything about who's impressed me or things like that. Everybody's been doing their job and working hard. For guys starting to come together over the past month, month and a half it feels like we've been together for a long time. That's a great feeling."

Anthony tried to recruit players such as LaMarcus Aldridge, but the Knicks never really were in the running for him.

They ended up signing Robin Lopez, Anthony's former Nuggets teammate Arron Afflalo, Derrick Williams, Kyle O'Quinn, Kevin Seraphin and Sasha Vujacic, and drafted Kristaps Porzingis and Jerian Grant.

The Knicks should be better defensively, but Anthony is their lone All-Star and proven scorer. Unless things click and their younger players develop quickly, Anthony could miss the postseason for the third straight season. But he's not thinking that way right now.

"I was very kind of excited about what we did this offseason," Anthony said. "I like the moves that we made. Was it any of the stars that we wanted to go after and go get? No. But the pieces that we got, I'm really intrigued at what we did and what we're going to go out with this team."

Anthony played in a career-low 40 games last season. Although he's been cleared to go all-out in camp, he and coach Derek Fisher said they would monitor the knee. It doesn't make sense to push Anthony too hard too soon, but he can't wait to get started.

"I feel like I'm ready to go," Anthony said. "I feel like I felt before I had the injury. Physically I feel great. Mentally I feel great. So I'm just ready to get out there and get this going. I've been waiting for this since February."

New York Sports