Carmelo Anthony starts vs. Pistons

NEW YORK -- New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony returned to the court for Tuesday's 113-86 win against the Detroit Pistons.

"My legs felt great out there tonight," Anthony said after scoring 25 points in 33 minutes. "I felt refreshed. Just taking these five, six days off that I did really helped me out big time. I could feel me having my explosiveness back. A lot of the things that I was doing prior to the Memphis game, it came back tonight."

Anthony tested his ankle prior to tipoff and determined that he was healthy enough to play against Detroit.

Anthony had missed the last two games due to right ankle, right thumb and left wrist injuries.

Anthony said on Monday that his wrist and thumb injuries have improved with rest, but his ankle injury was still an issue.

He hinted that it may have been a mistake to return to the court on Jan. 16, three days after suffering the ankle injury in Memphis.

"Playing the stretch of home games that I played, I think it didn't really help me out," Anthony said. "I think it kind of set me back a little bit. ... If I would have took some time off then maybe I wouldn't be in the situation I'm in right now."

Anthony tried to play through the injuries earlier this month but struggled mightily with his shot.

In the six games Anthony played after returning from right ankle and left (non-shooting) wrist injuries, he shot 32 percent (40 for 126). Anthony scored just one point in the Knicks' win over Charlotte on Tuesday -- during which he injured his thumb -- and finished 5 for 14 in their loss to Cleveland the next night.

Anthony and the team's medical staff decided to shut him down for last Friday's game against Miami and Saturday's game in Houston. The Knicks lost both games and have dropped nine of 10 overall entering Tuesday.

Offense has been an issue for the Knicks, who entered Tuesday ranked 25th in the league in offensive efficiency, a measurement of points per 100 possessions.

They had hoped that Baron Davis would give them a boost on offense. But the point guard will likely be out until next week at the earliest due to a back injury.

"I think next week's looking more like it. ... The sooner the better, but I don't know for sure," D'Antoni said at the team's shoot around this morning.

The Knicks originally hoped to have Davis back in late January or early February.

He participated in team scrimmages for the first time last Monday but missed practice on Monday and the team's shoot around on Tuesday due to lingering soreness. He should return to practice on Wednesday.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.