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With uncertainty surrounding the condition of Carmelo Anthony's right knee, New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson admitted that he's "worried" about his star forward.Anthony was in New York on Thursday to get fluid from his knee drained. The Knicks say Anthony had a "soft tissue fluid collection" removed from the back of his knee and is questionable for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Anthony will miss the Knicks' game Thursday against Portland and has been sidelined for four of the Knicks' past six games because of the knee ailment.
"When a key guy goes down that's a big piece, a major piece to your puzzle, sure you've got to worry," Woodson said Thursday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM. "There's no doubt I'm worried. There's no doubt that I'm worried about Carmelo. But I'm worried about our team as a whole with how we're playing. Coming out of that Utah game at home these past two games have been a nightmare for all of us."
Anthony left Wednesday's game against the Denver Nuggets in the third quarter due to stiffness in his knee.
When a key guy goes down that's a big piece, a major piece to your puzzle, sure you've got to worry. There's no doubt I'm worried. There's no doubt that I'm worried about Carmelo. But I'm worried about our team as a whole with how we're playing.” -- Knicks coach Mike Woodson
Anthony scored just nine points in the 117-94 loss, which was his first game back in Denver since being traded from the Nuggets two years ago.
"It started tightening up, started stiffening up. Some movements that I couldn't make, movement laterally, felt like I didn't have no pop, no power," Anthony said after the game. "I tried it in the second half, coming out after halftime. I couldn't move."
"I'm going to go get it drained, get the fluid out. Get to the bottom of it quick, so I can get back on the court," Anthony added.
Anthony said he might have pushed himself more than he should have in order to play in Denver. "I was always concerned," he said. "I was being naive to myself, saying OK. Trying to psyche myself out, 'I can do it. I can do it.' But there comes a point where you've got to figure it out and get to the bottom of it and move on."
Woodson said on "Stephen A. Smith & Ryan Ruocco" Thursday that it was Anthony's decision to play against the Nuggets. Anthony had missed three games last week due to stiffness in the back of his right knee. He returned to the court in the Knicks' 29-point loss to the Warriors and scored 14 points on 4-of-15 shooting, admitting after the game that his knee was still bothering him.
"I'm going to listen to my players; he told me he could play and we accommodated him by playing," Woodson said.
The coach was asked if it was his responsibility to make the final decision on injured players. "It's my job to do that but it's also my job to trust my players and believe in my players to the point where I trust their judgment as well," he said.
Center Tyson Chandler also left Wednesday's game late in the first half after banging knees with Denver's Corey Brewer. The team called the injury a left knee contusion.
Chandler was helped off the floor by teammates and could not put weight on the knee.
Woodson said on Thursday afternoon that he was waiting to speak with the team's medical staff before determining Chandler's status. He said that the decision to play would ultimately rest with Chandler.
"He did take a severe blow. Again, it's going to be up to Tyson and if he tells me that there's a problem then we're going to have to sit him and wait on it," Woodson said.
The Knicks have lost the first two games of their season-long five-game road trip by a combined 52 points. They are just 1.5 games ahead of Brooklyn for first place in the Atlantic Division.
"There's some concern simply because we are a little beat up," Woodson said of the Knicks' standing in the Atlantic. "The season's not going to wait on us and other teams are not going to say, 'I feel sorry for the New York Knicks.'
"Regardless of who's in uniform, other guys have to step up and play."
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.