Knicks' Carmelo Anthony battling through shoulder injury

First hurt it when he dove for a loose ball Dec. 11

Shaun Powell

Shaun Powell

Is Carmelo Anthony feeling limited by a shoulder injury?

That’s what the Knicks’ forward implied to the Daily News when asked about a weakened shooting shoulder that he never made much of an issue about until now. Anthony said he first injured the shoulder Dec. 11 against the Lakers when he dove for a loose ball, and it has been problematic ever since.

He said: “It’s bad. You know what it is, it’s an adjustment that you have to make on the fly. Like some days it feels good, some days it’s tight. Throughout the course of the game, certain shots, certain moves, you feel like the strength isn’t there. So it’s just a matter of figuring out how to play through it. What’s working? What’s not? It feels good during the game. And then you irritate it. And then you kind of have to work backwards again to get it back stronger. But I’m constant around-the-clock treatment.”

This comes as potential problem for the Knicks, who are fighting to keep from falling outside of the playoff eight in the East. January will be the busiest month in terms of games, which leaves open the question about Anthony playing in back-to-backs. Coach Jeff Hornacek might opt to rest Anthony if the shoulder pain flares. However, the Knicks lack a scorer to plug into the lineup should Anthony miss any extended time.

In addition, the All-Star Game looms for Anthony, who has appeared in seven straight games. Should he miss time, or develop a slump, between now and the time the starters and reserves are chosen by the fans, players and media, he might be the odd man out.

For now, Anthony says he’s willing to deal with the issue while insisting he’ll refuse to sit.

“Not yet. Not yet,” Anthony told the News. “Especially now when we’re in the grind and in the thick of things and we kind of have a chance to get back above .500. And we have some teams that we feel that are some winnable games. So that decision is. … they’re going to have to tell me to take a couple off. Cause I’m not doing it.”

Since the injury first occurred, Anthony has shot only 40 percent. At age 32, this is a challenge for a player the Knicks rely on for scoring, especially in late-game situations.

Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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