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Carmelo Anthony says his knee is feeling much better

Denver Nuggets president Josh Kroenke, left, talks with

Denver Nuggets president Josh Kroenke, left, talks with Carmelo Anthony and Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri before a game in Denver. (March 13, 2013) Credit: AP

SALT LAKE CITY -- Carmelo Anthony believes his knee troubles are behind him and that he won't have any issues with the knee the rest of the season. But he still wasn't ready to play Monday night.

Anthony ran and took shots before the Knicks beat the Jazz, 90-83, to close out their five-game road trip. It's the most he has done since having the fluid drained from the back of his right knee Thursday. He said his knee "felt back to normal" the day after the fluid was removed.

"Night and day," Anthony said. "I can feel the difference night and day. Just being able to move laterally, jump and just hopefully get back to what I was doing. Now it's a matter of getting that pop back, that power back in that leg."

When Anthony was asked about discomfort, he said, "No more."

When he was asked about stiffness, he said, "It's gone."

Anthony said a "slight hamstring pull" led to the fluid buildup and added that he won't need any offseason surgery.

"No. No. No," he said. "I'm good now. I feel good. My knee feels good. My body feels good. That was the only thing that was holding me back."

This appears to be a positive sign for the Knicks, who could use some good news. They lost the first four games of this road trip by an average of 20 points. Anthony and Tyson Chandler (bruised left knee, strained neck) haven't played since the second game of the trip, and there is concern about Kurt Thomas' right foot.

Chandler is expected to undergo tests on his neck when the Knicks get home. X-rays revealed a bone spur in Thomas' foot. He played last night, but there is fear that he might have a stress fracture, so he will have further tests to determine the severity of the injury.

Anthony said he will work out Tuesday and see how he feels Wednesday when the Knicks host Orlando. After that, they play a home-and-home back-to-back with Toronto that begins Friday. He could return at some point this week.

"Until he comes and says, 'Hey Coach, I'm ready to go,' you just got to be open-minded to it," Mike Woodson said.

Anthony has missed three straight games and six of the last eight because of the knee problem that he finally addressed after walking off the court early in the second half Wednesday in Denver.

At the time, he said he wanted to find out what was causing the knee pain. The way he explained it Monday, it had nothing to do with his knee; it was irritation from a hamstring injury.

"Something with the hamstring," he said. "It was in the back of the knee. It didn't have anything to do with my actual knee, the ligaments or anything like that. I think I tweaked my hamstring a little bit. My hamstring was tight and the fluid probably was drained."

Anthony said he was fine with that diagnosis.

"I saw everything with my own eyes rather than somebody actually telling me what's going on," he said. "I saw it. I've seen it and everything's good.

"I think it was from overcompensating my knee with my hamstring and trying to use one without the other, just playing on it, not getting no rest and not taking care of it ahead of time. Like I said, I was being naive with myself and it happened."

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