Carmelo Anthony, who has battled injuries throughout the year, will undergo surgery on his injured knee, ending his season.
The New York Knickerbockers announced today that Carmelo Anthony will have season-ending left knee surgery. The procedure, which will be performed by Team Orthopedist Dr. Answorth Allen, includes a left knee patella tendon debridement and repair.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com first reported the news.
Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick of USA Today provided surgery details:
The procedure is a knee debridement, which will remove dead, damaged, or infected tissue that is causing pain and discomfort and will improve the healing potential of the remaining healthy tissue.
Phil Jackson provided more information on the injury, via Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv and the team's Twitter account:
Despite New York's awful 10-43 record, it's hard to say Anthony is having a bad year. He's averaging more than 24 points and six rebounds per game, putting up the numbers expected of him after he signed a huge contract extension last summer.
However, there have been more cracks in Anthony's foundation. The most games he's ever missed in a single season is 17 in 2006-07 with Denver, but he's already missed 13 this season. After tweaking his knee again on Feb. 9 against Miami, he had this to say, via Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal:
ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley discussed the impact Anthony's shutdown will have on the Knicks:
New York went 10-30 with Anthony in the lineup in the first half of the season. So, with Anthony now out for the remainder of the year, it's fair to assume the Knicks will lose games at a higher rate.
This can be beneficial for them in June. If they finish the season with the NBA's worst record, the Knicks will have a 25 percent chance of landing the top draft pick in June's draft. They will also be guaranteed to pick no lower than fourth.
However, the decision could also have a negative impact on the Knicks' hopes of attracting top free-agent talent, according to Begley:
Still, it's fair to wonder how potential free agents view Anthony's situation. Anthony is 30, in his 12th season, and is set to have season-ending surgery. Will some free agents see this and wonder how effective Anthony can be over the life of his five-year contract with the Knicks? We'll find out the answer to that question this summer.
Given how the Knicks have struggled this year, it's not a surprise that Anthony is ready to call it a year. He has little to gain by continuing to play through pain, and his absence could actually help the team improve in the long run.
As long as Anthony returns to full strength by the start of next season, the Knicks will support their superstar.