Carmelo Anthony's shoulder hurts. (Jim Davis/The Boston Globe/Getty Images)
A magnetic resonance imaging scan of Carmelo Anthony's ailing left shoulder revealed a partially torn labrum that could require offseason surgery that would shelve the New York Knicks' All-Star forward for months, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.
Knicks fans looking for an explanation for Anthony's decline in shooting percentages from regular season (44.9 percent from the floor, 37.9 percent from 3-point range) to postseason (40.6 and 29.8, respectively) might point toward the bum shoulder, which Isola reports has caused "chronic pain" for the league's leading scorer ever since he initially injured it late in the third quarter of the Knicks' April 14 win over the Indiana Pacers:
Anthony re-aggravated the injury early in the fourth quarter of Game 5 of the Knicks' opening-round series against the Boston Celtics, when Celtics center Kevin Garnett grabbed Anthony's left arm on a screen:
(As if Knicks fans needed another reason to curse the name "Kevin Garnett.")
Anthony also appeared to further re-aggravate it in the Knicks' Game 6 victory after bumping into Boston guard Avery Bradley:
Anthony later said he felt his "shoulder popping out of the socket, which is common for someone suffering from a torn labrum," according to Isola. The Knicks have yet to officially announce the injury or give any medical update on Anthony following the MRI.
At the Knicks' exit interviews following the team's six-game second-round loss to the Pacers, Anthony acknowledged that the shoulder gave him trouble throughout the playoffs, according to ESPN New York's Ian Begley:
"I don't think it's any major damage," Anthony said Monday after meeting with the Knicks' coaching staff for exit interviews. "But we'll see. We'll find that out shortly." [...]
"It was bothering me since it happened," Anthony said. "To be able to play with that and get through the pain, it just came a point where you just try not to think about it. That's where I was at mentally."
Isola reports that the Knicks' plan at the moment is to let Anthony rest for the next three to four weeks before re-evaluating, in the hope that the injury will heal on its own. If it doesn't, surgical repair could be considered; if surgery is needed, "it could sideline Anthony from three to five months and could compromise his availability for the start of training camp in October," which is pretty much the exact opposite of what Knicks fans still licking their wounds from an Eastern Conference semifinals exit want to hear.
For now, though, all Anthony, the Knicks and their fans can do is wait.