Carmelo Anthony misses Tuesday loss to OKC due to knee soreness

NEW YORK -- New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony missed Tuesday's 128-122 overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder because of soreness in his left knee.

Knicks coach Derek Fisher said the team is taking a cautious approach with Anthony and that there are no structural issues with Anthony's knee.

"We'll just continue to kind of evaluate him and make sure he gets to a place where once he's back on the court it's not something we're trying to monitor or manage every single day," Fisher said.

Anthony, 31, first felt soreness on Saturday in the Knicks' loss to the Charlotte Hornets. He sat out the fourth quarter of that game but expressed hope after Monday's practice that he would be back on the floor Tuesday.

Instead, Lance Thomas started in Anthony's place, scoring 16 points in 41 minutes. Thomas missed the past three games because of left knee soreness but was cleared to play before Tuesday's tipoff.

Anthony's soreness is a bit of a concern because it is in the same knee that was surgically repaired in February. Anthony and Fisher say that, at this point, there is no reason to believe the soreness is related to the surgery.

Anthony missed two games in mid-January because of a sprained right ankle. He returned and played in two consecutive games that went into overtime, averaging 44:30 in those contests.

Fisher and Anthony believe the soreness in his left knee is related to Anthony's extended minutes in those games as well as him having to compensate with his left side last week while playing on the sprained right ankle.

"We're hopeful that it will calm down soon and he'll be back on the court soon," Fisher said. "And if something tells us otherwise, we'll try to make a decision that's smart the way we've always tried to."

The Knicks are 0-5 in games in which Anthony sits because of an injury. A 13-year veteran, he is averaging 21.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists for New York, which is 22-25 after the defeat by Oklahoma City.