Knicks 'zzone

Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.

Carmelo Anthony has fluid build-up in his knee

Carmelo Anthony sits up after falling during the

Carmelo Anthony sits up after falling during the second quarter of a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. (March 4, 2013) (Credit: AP)

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Mike Woodson said the MRI on Carmelo Anthony’s injured right knee showed he has “some fluid build-up” and that’s what’s causing the stiffness.

Anthony wasn’t at the Knicks’ morning shootaround and is out for Thursday's game against the Pistons.

“Rest will probably be the best thing for him,” Woodson said. “He’s got to make that commitment. If he wants to sit down and rest a game or two we’ll do that. It’s still a long season.”

This is the start of a back-to-back with Oklahoma City on deck Thursday night at the Garden. Woodson said the Knicks aren’t “trying to save” Anthony for Durant and the Thunder. It’s going to be Anthony’s decision, Woodson said, as to whether he plays in either game.

“I’ll do whatever he wants to do,” Woodson said. “Trust me. Players know their own body. If he tells me he wants to play I’m going to play him. I’m not going to fight him on that. I’m not going to fight any player who wants to play when you’re talking about a player that can help you win games. If he says coach I need to sit down and rest a game or two, I’m going to grant that, absolutely.”

Yet the irony is Woodson contends Anthony asked out of Monday’s Cleveland game before he aggravated his knee and he didn’t listen to him.

“He just kind of nodded that his knee wasn’t right,” Woodson said. “I kind of ignored it somewhat. Maybe I shouldn’t have.”

After tripping over his own feet, Anthony fell in the first half. When he got up, he walked right to the locker room and never returned. The Knicks were down 22 at the time and rallied to win behind a strong game from Amar’e Stoudemire.

“Obviously he was hurting,” Woodson said. “He asked me to bring him out. I kind of ignored it because we were down. I probably should have taken him out and then he took the spill and he left the game because he was hurting. I didn’t heed to it because I’ve seen him banged up and hit and things of that nature and I elected not to pull him. Maybe I should have.”

Woodson said he hasn’t been told that Anthony’s knee worsened from that particular play. Anthony said it’s been bothering him for a couple of weeks.

Woodson also said that he has to scale back Anthony’s minutes. He’s averaging 37.8 per game and his importance to the Knicks is obvious. They need him as fresh as possible for the end of season run and playoffs.

“I just got to trust when he’s sitting over there, ‘Guys you got to do your part and then we’ll get him back in,’” Woodson said. “I’ve been playing him close to 40 minutes a game. We got to get him down to about 35 minutes a game, somewhere in that neighborhood.”


If Anthony doesn’t play, Woodson said he probably would start Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Tyson Chandler, Kurt Thomas and James White. Woodson will continue to bring Stoudemire off the bench.

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