Knicks confident Melo is in the clear

Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks are confident that they’re in the clear when it comes to Melo’s troublesome right knee.

Anthony said earlier this week that the fluid buildup in the back of his knee was caused by a hamstring injury, according to Knicks doctors.

Anthony was assured that his knee was structurally sound and the ligaments were healthy. The Knicks All-Star forward also said that he felt no pain or tightness after getting the fluid drained last Thursday.

“I feel good, my knee feels good, my body feels good,” he told reporters in Utah.

It’s entirely possible that Anthony was dealing with soreness in his knee and a hamstring injury at the same time. It’s unlikely, though, that the hamstring injury caused a fluid buildup in the knee, according to one veteran orthopedist who specializes in sports medicine.

“In general, fluid that builds up in the knee is not a result of a hamstring strain, although the two can occur concurrently. ... Hamstring tendons are outside the [knee] joint so that’s not something that’s necessarily going to cause fluid buildup in the joint, requiring drainage,” said Dr. Neil Roth, an orthopedic surgeon at Lenox Hill hospital who specializes in sports medicine and shoulder and knee surgery. “So [Anthony] definitely could have more than one thing going on there. The fluid may have been incidental and he [also] has a hamstring strain, and that’s what they’re rehabbing.

“With the fluid being drained out, he says he feels great from it. And that’s probably the truth. There may be nothing structurally [in the knee joint] that’s abnormal, other than he did something to irritate the joint. So it may be only that he’s got a hamstring strain, had some fluid drained, and he’s ready to go.”

Roth has not treated Anthony and has no firsthand knowledge of the condition of Anthony’s knee. He also has a relationship with Knicks doctor Lisa Callahan, the director of player care, as well as the team’s orthopedist, Dr. Ainsworth Allen.

He stated clearly that he is not second-guessing the work of Callahan and Allen and was highly complimentary of both doctors.

“They are extraordinarily reputable,” Roth said.

Roth, who previously served as the assistant team physician for the Los Angeles Lakers, simply wished to provide a framework of possible scenarios surrounding Anthony’s injury.

Some are concerned that Anthony’s knee injury will flare up or linger for the rest of the season. Anthony has missed six of the Knicks’ past nine games and large portions of two others due to the knee ailment.

The Knicks are hopeful that he will play Wednesday against the Orlando Magic. He is listed as questionable.

REPLACING THOMAS? With Kurt Thomas out two to four weeks and Rasheed Wallace and Amar'e Stoudemire expected to be out for the remainder of the regular season, the Knicks may need to add a healthy body to the roster. Mike Woodson said last week that he would huddle with GM Glen Grunwald to discuss the personnel situation soon.

If the Knicks want to add a player, they’d have to cut someone from the 15-man roster. Woodson has said that he has no plans to cut Wallace. The team’s plans for Thomas are unclear at this point.

If the Knicks decided to add a player, their options are fairly thin.

To be eligible for the postseason roster, the new player would need to have been waived or have had a non-guaranteed contract by March 1. D-League players are also available.

Some options the Knicks may consider include Hakim Warrick, Delonte West and D-Leaguers Henry Sims (Erie BayHawks), Hilton Armstrong (Santa Cruz Warriors) or former Cav and Queens product Samardo Samuels (Reno Big Horns).

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