When will Carmelo Anthony be back?

Carmelo Anthony has missed three games due to a left ankle injury and his timetable to return remains unclear.

The Knicks' next game is Thursday at San Antonio, which gives Anthony nine days to rest his ankle. So it seems likely that he will suit up in that game.

Mike Woodson, according to reports, is "hoping" that he'll have his superstar back for the San Antonio game, which kicks off a big three-game road trip to Texas.

"When Melo's ready to play, he'll play," the coach told reporters in Toronto on Saturday. "My track record with Melo has been he plays. And if he's hurt, he's hurt, and you got to believe that."

The Knicks have been a disaster on offense without Anthony. They lost by 29 to Oklahoma City on Christmas Day and dropped their past two games by a combined 25 points to Toronto.

New York's been outscored by 67 since Anthony went down with the ankle injury in the third quarter of Monday's game against Orlando.

The Knicks are a season-high 12 games under .500 after losing two straight to Toronto. There's a long laundry list of issues with the team. But their No. 1 problem right now is not having Anthony, who's scoring 26.3 points per game and had led the team in scoring in all 27 games prior to Wednesday.

"I'm sure when he's ready to get back out on the floor from his ankle, he'll let us know," Woodson said.

Anthony expected to play in the Knicks' Christmas Day showdown against Oklahoma City on Wednesday, two days after he suffered the injury. But he sat out after consulting with the team's training staff prior to tipoff.

After the game, J.R. Smith said "apparently [the ankle injury] is extremely bad."

Woodson told reporters on Saturday that Anthony was having a tough time running and jumping due to the injury.

"His ankle's bad enough where he can't play," Woodson said. "So we just got to go with that, and when he's ready to get back out on the floor, he'll let us know and the medical people will guide us in that area, as well. If he can't run and jump because of his ankle, he needs to nurse it back and get it ready to go, and then he'll let us know."

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