Carmelo Anthony Injury: Updates on Knicks Star's Shoulder and Recovery

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2014

Mar 31, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) dribbles the ball during the first quarter against the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks' playoff hopes officially ended on Sunday, and while there are still two games left to play, the status of superstar Carmelo Anthony is uncertain.

According to the Knicks' public relations Twitter account, Melo is questionable for tonight's clash with the rival Brooklyn Nets due to a shoulder injury:

It was later determined that 'Melo has a slight tear in his shoulder:

The game means nothing to the Knicks since they can't catch the Atlanta Hawks for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, but there is a chance that the next two contests could be Anthony's final games as a Knick.

Melo is set to hit free agency this offseason, and although a return to the Big Apple is certainly possible, it is far from guaranteed.

Anthony enjoyed another spectacular season from an individual standpoint with averages of over 27 points, eight rebounds and three assists per game. He was also one of just three players with at least 25 performances of 30 or more points, per ESPN Stats & Info:

Individual accolades are great, but Melo is used to team success as well. Anthony has always been a winner dating back to high school as well as his time at Syracuse University. With the Knicks now eliminated from playoff contention, Anthony's season will end after 82 games for the first time in his professional career:

Melo was clearly dejected by the result, but he was unwilling to point the finger at any one person, according to the Knicks' official Twitter account:

Anthony would probably like to finish the season on the court, especially if this is his New York swan song, but he has to be smart. If he plays and his shoulder injury worsens into something more significant, then he will adversely affect his value on the open market in a big way.

Because of that, Melo should simply live to fight another day and take his spot on the bench for the final two games of the season.

Not only would it allow Anthony to preserve himself, but it would also give some younger players a chance to prove themselves.

One can only assume that Melo would play if a postseason berth was still possible, but there is no reason for any of the parties involved to take that risk at this point.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter