Pain could hinder Melo's return vs. Spurs

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Carmelo Anthony hopes to be back on the court by Thursday.

But he might be playing in pain.

Anthony has missed the past three games due to an ankle injury. He practiced on Monday but was limited to shooting with teammates. After practice, Anthony said he's feeling "swelling" and "tenderness" in his ankle, which was originally sprained last Monday.

"Eventually I’ll have to play with a little bit of tenderness, a little bit of pain here and there," Anthony said.

That's not an ideal situation for a Knicks team trying to climb out of a 9-21 hole. New York went 0-3 without Anthony. They lost by 29 points to Oklahoma City and lost two games to Toronto by a combined 25 points.

Anthony had hoped to play in the Christmas Day game against Oklahoma City but said that his ankle started to swell shortly after he sprained it against Orlando.

"It kept swelling, kept swelling so we had to get control of that first and then go from there," he said. "So it was a lot worse than what I actually thought."

The Knicks have been outscored by a combined 67 points since Anthony left the Magic game in the third quarter.

"It was definitely disappointing, sitting back watching it. I definitely hate sitting out watching the games," Anthony said. "I’m trying to do what I have to do to get back and do what’s best for everybody."

Anthony has started running over the past few days and is optimistic about playing Thursday against the Spurs. That game is the start of a three-game road trip in Texas that includes games against the Mavericks and Rockets.

If Anthony takes the court at less than 100 percent, of course, there is a greater risk of him re-injuring his ankle.

Felton's status: In other injury news, Raymond Felton (groin strain) is day-to-day but is unlikely to play Thursday, according to Mike Woodson. Pablo Prigioni (broken toe) is also day-to-day but unlikely to play against San Antonio.

"Right now it's still day-to-day," Woodson said. "They're still working to get better."

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