Carmelo Anthony to play with pain

Updated: March 13, 2013, 10:24 AM ET
ESPNNewYork.com

Carmelo Anthony thinks he will not be 100 percent healthy for the rest of the season because of a troublesome right knee injury.

Anthony returned to the floor Monday night for the New York Knicks after missing the previous three games with soreness in his right knee. He struggled in a 92-63 loss at Golden State, missing 11 of 15 shots in 34 minutes and finishing with 14 points.

Anthony told reporters in Oakland, Calif., after the game that his knee affected his play.

"I don't think I'll ever be 100 percent, to be honest with you, but I will play," he said.

Anthony has been dealing with stiffness in the back of his right knee for several weeks due to a buildup of fluid. An MRI taken in February revealed no structural damage. The Knicks' medical staff had hoped that rest would help the fluid dissipate.

Anthony, the NBA's second-leading scorer, sat out for six days after aggravating the injury on March 4 against Cleveland but still feels discomfort. 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."

Anthony's isn't the only health issue that the Knicks (38-23) are trying to get a handle on. The team announced that power forward Amar'e Stoudemire underwent right knee surgery to remove debris on Monday and is is expected to miss approximately six weeks.

Stoudemire's absence makes Anthony's health all the more important for the Knicks. New York is tied with Indiana for second place in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks have four games remaining on their current, season-high five-game road trip.

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