Melo out again; Amar'e getting closer

NEW YORK -- New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony did not play in the team's 109-96 loss against the Houston Rockets and Jeremy Lin on Monday night because of lingering pain in his injured left ankle.

Anthony suffered a sprained ankle on Thursday against the Los Angeles Lakers and missed the Knicks' home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night. Coach Mike Woodson said Anthony decided that he could not play after the team watched film Monday morning. His status for Wednesday's game against Brooklyn is uncertain.

"We'll evaluate him tomorrow and see where he is," Woodson said. "…. We don't know at this point."

Anthony has yet to undergo an X-ray or MRI to determine the extent of his injury, according to Woodson. Rookie Chris Copeland started in place of Anthony for the second straight game.

In other injury news, Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire has been cleared to practice with the team.

Stoudemire hasn't played yet this season following surgery to repair a ruptured cyst in his left knee.

Woodson said Stoudemire will practice with the Knicks' D-League team on Tuesday and Thursday. The coach said Stoudemire will have to make it through practice without issue before he's cleared to play, but he left open the possibility that Stoudemire could return Friday against the Chicago Bulls.

The Knicks (18-6) played their fourth game Monday without Anthony.

New York is 2-2 without its top scorer.

Anthony missed two games earlier this month with a laceration on his left middle finger that required five stitches.

The Knicks went 1-1 with Anthony out, beating Miami by 20 points and losing to Chicago, both on the road. They beat the Cavs on Saturday as Anthony sat with the ankle injury.

Veteran forward Rasheed Wallace sat out for the second straight game because of a sore left foot.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.