Veteran Swingman, Who Played 30 Minutes During All-Star Game, To Have Surgery

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A nightmare season for the Knicks is about to get a whole lot worse.

That’s because their lone superstar will miss the remainder of the season due to a knee injury, the Knicks announced on Wednesday.

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“Carmelo Anthony will have season-ending left knee surgery. The procedure, which will be performed by Team Orthopedist Dr. Answorth Allen, includes a left knee patella tendon debridement and repair,” the team said in a statement.

Anthony is expected to need several months to recover.

“We’re really confident that he heals well and he’ll be fine,” team president Phil Jackson said. “We want him to make a full recovery and get ready for this next coming season.”

“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 added.

The move didn’t come as a surprise considering the backlash the veteran swingman received in the media and among fans last week for deeming himself not healthy enough to play regular season games but then suiting up and playing 30 minutes in Sunday’s All-Star game at Madison Square Garden.

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“We anticipate that as a scorer that’s been prolific in his career, he’ll continue to be so,” Jackson said.

Signed to a $120 million-plus contract during the offseason, Anthony missed 13 games this season due to injury during what has been a nightmarish 10-43 season for the Knicks, but still averaged 24.2 points per game. He’s missed two of New York’s six games in February, including its most recent one, an 89-83 loss in Orlando last Wednesday.

The Knicks play their first game following the break Friday at home against Miami.

During All-Star game media availability on Friday, Anthony said he would have considered continuing to play through the pain if the Knicks still had a shot of doing something significant this season.

“If we had a winning record and had a chance to make it to the playoffs, there would probably be a lot of discussion about keeping it going, but taking time off before the playoffs,” Anthony said.

On Wednesday, Fisher backed up his star’s words.

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“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.