NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony confesses he was concerned about his right knee as he sat out the last three games and six of the last eight for the Knicks.
“I was worried because I didn’t really know what was the cause of it, what was going on,” Anthony said after draining a 3-pointer on his first attempt of the game and putting up 21 points and eight rebounds as the Knicks beat the Orlando Magic, 106-94, for their second straight win.
“I knew for sure that it wasn’t no ligament damage or anything like that, so I just wished that we could’ve got to the bottom of it quicker.”
With four frontcourt players already injured for the Knicks (40-26), the team could not have afforded a serious injury to Anthony, the NBA’s second-leading scorer.
He went for an MRI and then opted to get the fluid drained from his knee last Thursday in New York after learning that a hamstring injury triggered the fluid.
“When I went into the MRI and it wasn’t that much fluid back there so it was just a matter of me playing on it, and the fluid building up,” Anthony said.
He said he felt a difference right way after getting the knee drained.
“Then a couple days later everything just felt back to normal,” he said. “It was night and day for me. Soon as they took it out, I was able to move on it.”
The Knicks appear to have survived another injury scare Wednesday when Iman Shumpert felt a “pop” in his surgically-repaired knee and left the game in the first half and did not return.
“Like I said, last time it popped I was out eight months,” he said after scoring seven points in 14 minutes. “I was scared. It was a regular take off and go off and it buckled.”
After checking with the medical staff, he said he’s OK.
“I am fine now,” he said. “Hopefully it all goes well tomorrow.”
The Knicks are already without Amar’e Stoudemire (knee) and Rasheed Wallace (foot) for the remainder of the regular season, and on Wednesday 40-year-old Kurt Thomas indicated he might not play again this season with a stress reaction in his right foot.
Thomas said he had a stress fracture in 2006 that he “thought” had healed.
“Six, seven years later I found out it didn’t completely heal,” he said.
Now, he’s uncertain if he can play again this year.
“It will be disappointing to end the season like that but injuries are part of the game,” he said. “I will continue to do what I do every summer to keep preparing.”
Tyson Chandler (neck) is also out “few games,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said.
Kenyon Martin, recently signed for the remainder of the season, started at center and posted 11 points and three rebounds in 28 minutes.
Despite all these frontcourt injuries, Woodson said the team had no plans to acquire anyone else.
“Our team as it stands today is what it is,” he said. “We have to try to get Kurt and Rasheed back [for the playoffs].”
For now, they will have to continue to rely on Anthony and the rest of the non-injured players until Chandler comes back.
“I feel good, I feel healthy,” Anthony said. “I am glad that I got that procedure done and put that behind me.”
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Photo: Daily News