plans to play through knee pain. (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images)
By Ben Golliver
Knicks All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony ruled out the possibility of a surgery on his ailing right knee, but told reporters Monday that he expects the condition will linger for the rest of the season.
ESPNNY.com reports that Anthony is experiencing fluid build-up in the knee that is producing stiffness.
"I don't think I'll ever be 100 percent, to be honest with you, but I will play," he said.
He told reporters on Monday that he hasn't received a definitive diagnosis.
"Nobody can really give me an exact answer on it," said Anthony, who returns to Denver on Wednesday for the first time since the Nuggets traded him to the Knicks in 2012. "There's no pain, no ligament damage or anything like that. There's just some fluid in the back of the knee that's preventing me from hyperextending my knee sometimes."
The New York Daily News reported that Anthony said surgery is not an option currently being considered.
“No surgery,’’ he said, defiantly. “None of that.’’
The Knicks cited an unspecified right knee injury when Anthony left a game against the Cavaliers last week after tripping over his feet. Coach Mike Woodson said afterward that Anthony was "hurting" and had asked out of the game prior to his fall. Anthony underwent an MRI, which revealed no damage, but then sat out the team's next three games. He then returned to face the Warriors in Oakland on Monday, finishing with 14 points (on 4-for-15 shooting) and 10 rebounds in a 92-63 loss.
It goes without saying that New York's postseason forecast hinges on the availability of its leading scorer. The Knicks are currently the Eastern Conference's No. 2 seed with a record of 38-23, positioned to have the opportunity to advance in the playoffs for the first time since 1999-00. With roughly five weeks remaining in the regular season, the Knicks are essentially tied with the Pacers and only 2.5 games up on the Nets, making it difficult to rest Anthony for a significant period of time without putting their playoff seeding at risk.
The Knicks announced over the weekend that forward Amar'e Stoudemire will be sidelined for six weeks after undergoing his second knee procedure of the season.
Anthony, 28, is averaging 27.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game this season. He is on the books for $20.5 million this season, $22.4 million next season and $24.4 million in 2014-15, although he has an early termination option on the final year of the deal.