The New York Knicks’ Mike Woodson accepted some responsibility for Carmelo Anthony’s knee injury Sunday because the coach refused to take out the all-star forward moments before he fell and had to be helped off the floor.
Woodson said on ESPN radio Tuesday that he expected Anthony to play through pain when the NBA’s second-leading scorer asked out of the game. So, he left Anthony in the game and moments later he tripped on the Madison Square Garden floor with a knee injury that could keep him out a few games.
Anthony went to the locker room with 6:42 remaining in the second quarter and did not return to the game. The team is calling his injury a sore knee.
“Maybe I should have taken him out before he actually stumbled and took the fall,” Woodson said on the radio. “But again, I’m thinking [during] the game, ‘Hey, he’ll play through it. He’ll figure it out.’
“But he was hurt. He walked out after he took the spill and he didn’t come back, and that’s not Melo-like. Obviously, his knee is bothering him.”
Anthony said on Monday that his knee had been troubling him and an MRI taken recently revealed no structural damage.
“Some days you really don’t feel right,” Anthony said after the Knicks came from 22 points down to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers. “I tried to warm up and I thought it was going to loosen up before the game, but some of the things that I was doing, I felt like I was dragging it.”
Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald said Tuesday he did not believe Anthony’s injury was “serious” during an interview with radio station WFAN.
“We’re going to try to be smart about it and we’re not going to rush him along if we don’t think it’s appropriate,” Grunwald told WFAN.