Focus now shifts to Carmelo's knee

The biggest question surrounding the New York Knicks right now has little do with pending trades.

It's all about Carmelo Anthony and his sore left knee.

Anthony said Sunday he hadn't made a definitive decision about his future. But he's acknowledged it's "very likely" that he shuts himself down sometime after the All-Star break to have surgery on his injured left knee.

No one knows at this point exactly when that surgery will take place.

Anthony had hoped to play for several weeks after the All-Star Game, according to league sources with knowledge of the situation.

That plan is now in flux because his knee condition has become a bigger hindrance. He tweaked the injury on Feb. 9 against Miami and was forced to sit the next game.

Anthony on Friday referred to that injury as a "light scare" and talked several times over the weekend about shutting himself down in light of it.

There are some in the Knicks organization who have wanted Anthony to shut himself down for weeks, league sources familiar with the team's thinking say.

The specific nature of Anthony's knee injury is unclear.

The Knicks have referred to the injury as soreness. Anthony said it is impacting his tendon and that any surgical procedure would likely sideline him for eight weeks.

According to ESPN medical expert Dr. Mark Adickes, tendon issues are common for long-time NBA players.

"If you were to MRI any veteran NBA player, you are going to find abnormalities of their patella tendon insertion or quad tendon insertion," Adickes said. "The longer you play, the older you are, the more susceptible you are to this injury.

"What happens over time is it's like little micro-tears and chronic inflammations in the quad tendon and the patellar tendon lead to tendonosis," Adickes added. "Tendonosis is just chronic, degenerative change of that tendon."

Adickes hasn't examined Anthony and isn't privy to any of the medical reports on his knee. But he said there are several ways to repair tendon issues.

One avenue for repair -- the more conservative approach -- would be to use a platelet-rich plasma therapy treatment.

PRP places a patient's blood in a centrifuge and spins it to separate the platelet-rich plasma, which is then injected back into the injured tissue. It is generally used for long-term treatment, and Adickes recommends that an athlete sit for at least two weeks following PRP treatment.

Anthony, a 12-year NBA veteran, says he is likely to be out for eight weeks following his procedure.

That would mean it seems unlikely that he's referring to PRP.

Another option, according to Adickes, is a partial repair of the patellar or quad tendon along with a debridement, which is a removing of the chronic, inflammatory tissue.

This procedure has a recommended rehab timetable of 2-3 months.

"It takes some time," Adickes said.

The good news for Knicks fans is that these injuries are common and the procedures to repair them are not overly complex, Adickes says.

So it's fair to assume that Anthony won't face many hurdles to return to the court, if and when he does have surgery.