Carmelo Anthony has decided to shut it down for the rest of the 2014-2015 NBA season, opting to undergo surgery and get ready for next year. New York Knicks president Phil Jackson announced on Wednesday that the star forward is expected to miss between four and six months, but it’s possible that Anthony could be out for even longer.
According to a report by the New York Daily News, Anthony’s surgery could force him to miss up to eight months. Dr. Lewis Maharam has never performed the type of surgery that Anthony will undergo, nor has he examined the star’s knee, but he has taken care of patients who have experienced this procedure. His educated guess is that Anthony’s expected timetable should be extended by two months.
Anthony has received his share of criticism for the timing of his surgery, and that will only increase if he’s out for two-thirds of a year. The Knicks have been out of the playoff race for weeks, but Anthony elected to wait until after the All-Star Game to end his season. Anthony scored 14 points in 30 minutes during the All-Star Game, having sat out two of the Knicks’ previous three contests.
The knee injury is nothing new for Anthony. It forced him to miss games in the first month of the season, sitting out 13 contests before the All-Star break. Now, he’s set to have a knee patella tendon debridement and repair.
If the estimated timetable of four to six months is correct, Anthony will be ready to get back on the court no later than August, costing him no games in the 2015-2016 season. However, an eight-month rehab would last up until the preseason and near the start of the regular season.
Maharam is not worried about Anthony’s recovery, saying the surgery shouldn’t affect him much in the long term. However, an orthopedic surgeon has indicated to the New York Post that Anthony’s knee could be worse off than originally thought. According to Dr. Wellington K. Hsu, rehab for a debridement of the patellar tendon shouldn’t last longer than eight weeks. Hsu says Jackson’s projected timetable implies that Anthony might have additional problems with his left knee.
The New York Post reports that Anthony could be doing light work after eight weeks, assuming all goes well with his reevaluation. Pau Gasol had a debridement on both knees in May 2013, and he was ready by the start of preseason. Almost two years later, the surgery hasn’t slowed him down, as he’s averaging a career-high 12.1 rebounds in 35.1 minutes per game.
Anthony is in the first year of a five-year contract that will pay him $124 million. He’s averaging 24.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.