Carmelo Anthony says he'll play Monday against the Warriors

Carmelo Anthony says he's back. But he's not back.

Anthony told reporters Monday that he plans to play against the Warriors as the Knicks kick off a five-game West Coast road trip. But he also said he's not at full strength.

“It’s still on there," Anthony joked about the knee, via the NY Post. “I think I’ll go tonight. I used this week to really try to get healthy, get my legs back, get the soreness out. I don’t think (the fluid) is completely gone. But getting the rest, sitting out a couple of days, getting treatment, I definitely benefitted."

“This was always the plan to come back on this road trip, to use this last week to get more rest and try to start off fresh for this road trip," Anthony said. “I don’t think I’ll ever be 100 percent, to be honest with you. But I will play tonight."

What that means -- "I don't think I'll ever be 100 percent" -- is unknown. Does he mean this season, or for good? Either way, it's not a great sign for the Knicks, but it's still better than the alternative of not having Melo at all.

Especially considering the Knicks will be without Amar'e Stoudemire, who was lost for 6-8 weeks because of knee surgery. An already thin New York frontline can't afford to be without a prime scorer like Anthony for extended time.

Anthony said the knee isn't especially painful and that he doesn't need surgery. It's just uncomfortable.

“There’s no pain at all. Just stiffness," he said. “Nobody really can give me an exact answer on it. There’s no pain or ligament damage. Just fluid in the back of the knee that’s prevented me from hyperextending my leg. None of that. No surgery."

As for any kind of minute restriction, something coach Mike Woodson said was likely, Anthony indicated he's not planning on playing under one.

“I don’t know,’’ he told reporters. “We got to see how the game goes. If I come back to play, I come back to play. If he wants to limit my minutes, I’m all for it. But when I come back to play, I come back to play."

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