GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Carmelo Anthony will have surgery on his left knee that could keep him off the court for four to six months.
New York Knicks President Phil Jackson said a timetable for Anthony’s recovery couldn’t completely be determined until after the surgery, but early indications were that he could be back on the court this summer and be ready for training camp.
Jackson said he anticipated the procedure, which will include a left knee patella tendon debridement and repair, would be performed this week.
“It’s obvious that he physically can’t do the things that he’s capable of doing, so this is a necessary step for him to take, I think, in order for him to get to the level that he’s capable of getting to,” coach Derek Fisher said.
Anthony has had pain for most of the season but continued to play despite the Knicks’ league-worst 10-43 record. He was able to start in the Feb. 15 All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden but appeared to be struggling, scoring 14 points on 6-of-20 shooting.
Jackson said he talked to Anthony last month, after he had missed six straight games, about scheduling the surgery — though said the Knicks were comfortable with Anthony taking part in the All-Star Game.
“I had a meeting with him when we were in London and we discussed this process of having the surgery sooner than later,” Jackson said, “because we know that the process can take some time for rehab and getting back on the court and we wanted him to be able to make a full recovery and be ready for this coming season.”
Anthony did not speak to reporters Feb. 18.
He finished his 12th NBA season averaging 24.2 points and 6.6 rebounds in 40 games. The two-time Olympian turned 30 in May, two months before signing a five-year, $124 million contract in July, but Jackson said he was confident the former scoring champion would make a full recovery.
“We anticipate that as a scorer that’s been prolific in his career, he’ll continue to be so,” Jackson said.
Anthony had knee surgery in 2011 during the off-season, and Jackson said he thought Anthony recovered well from that. He also had fluid drained from his right knee late in the 2012-13 season.
The decision on Anthony comes two days after the Knicks waived Amare Stoudemire following a contract buyout and leaves them severely undermanned for the final 29 games. Fisher believes Anthony may have kept playing this long because of the team’s difficulties.
“He struggled with, I think, letting his teammates down and feeling like he wanted to be out there but knew some nights he shouldn’t have been,” Fisher said.
(BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer)