GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Carmelo Anthony's season is over and the knee surgery he will undergo and recovery is more serious than he previously thought.
The Knicks said Wednesday the procedure will include a left knee patella tendon debridement and repair. Team president Phil Jackson, who wouldn't get into details of the surgery, estimated Anthony wouldn't return to the court for 4 to 6 months. Anthony said last week he would be back on the court in eight weeks.
Jackson said more would be known after the surgery, which he said will be performed this week. If all goes well, Anthony should be ready for the start of training camp. But if he has any setback he may not, or at the very least he could be rusty at the start of next season.
Jackson said he met with Anthony in London last month and discussed Anthony having the surgery sooner rather than later.
"We know that the process can take some time for rehab and getting back on the court," Jackson said Wednesday at the team's training facility. "We wanted him to be able to make a full recovery and be ready for this next coming season in the process of not only rehabbing, but reconditioning."
This raises the question: Why didn't Anthony have the surgery sooner to ensure he would be all the way back when training camp starts in the fall? But Jackson said the Knicks did not urge Anthony to have the procedure sooner.
"No, we did not," Jackson said. "This is his choice. He has to make the choice. He has to feel comfortable with it. We didn't put a timetable on it."
Anthony, who signed a five-year, $124-million contract in July, said he started feeling soreness in his knee the second game of the season and continued to play through it. He averaged 24.2 points in 40 games. Anthony missed 13 games overall, and 11 because of the knee, including the Knicks' final game before the All-Star break.
But it was important for Anthony to play in Sunday's All-Star Game at the Garden. Jackson said the Knicks had no issue with Anthony playing. He logged 30:16 Sunday.
"We know that it was the type of surgery that is corrective obviously and that he could play on it," Jackson said. "He could tweak it as he has a number of times this year and because of some discomfort and inability to play at times. So we felt comfortable with him playing in the All-Star Game."
Debridements -- defined as the surgical removal of lacerated, devitalized or contaminated tissue -- are common procedures. Former Knick Amar'e Stoudemire had one on each knee in the same season. He never regained his explosiveness and was on minutes restrictions after he returned. Danny Granger and Dwyane Wade also had patella tendon debridements and weren't the same players afterward. Both ended up having multiple surgeries on the same knee.
Jackson said he is concerned about the 30-year-old Anthony because of his age and what the long-term effects can be. Anthony had his left knee scoped in 2011 and had fluid drained in his right knee during the 2013 season.
"Yeah, we all do," Jackson said. "The longevity of players is really our responsibility and theirs as they go through their careers . . . But we're really confident he'll heal well and he'll be fine."
The Knicks, who resume playing Friday when they host the Heat, are 10-43 and their chances for having a top-4 draft pick in June improved immeasurably by losing Anthony. The team with the worst record in the league can't pick any lower than fourth.
Anthony had said if the Knicks were in the playoff race that he would try to keep playing, but Jackson refuted that.
"I think probably not," he said. "The limitation of playing and the inability to play and the limited time and practices that he's had to sit out, all those things would hamper the team from going forward."
But Jackson said the Knicks will go forward with Anthony in mind, looking to add pieces that complement their franchise player.
"I think he wants to be the guy that is kind of like the guy that is built around," Jackson said. "He has stated that in the past. We are going to make assessments on players to play with him. And we anticipate as a scorer that has been prolific in his career, he will continue to be so, which is a big part of the game."