Carmelo Anthony is expected to play in Sunday’s All-Star Game despite suffering a bruised right arm in Wednesday’s loss to Toronto that had him hinting that the injury could keep him out of the NBA’s winter classic.

The league, according to a source, was notified on Thursday that Anthony intended to play on Sunday. The Knick forward was elected to the Eastern Conference All-Star team in fan voting and Anthony could conceivably play just a few minutes and take the rest of the night off. That conversation between Anthony, the Knicks’ medical staff and Eastern Conference coach, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, will take place on Friday in Houston.

If Anthony is unable to play, the NBA has the right to force him to miss the Knicks’ first game after the break, Wednesday against Indiana, but that is unlikely to happen. After shooting 5-for-24 against the Raptors, Anthony admitted that he was experiencing a “dead arm” after being inadvertently elbowed by DeMar DeRozan in the first quarter.

Anthony has made the All-Stars six times, and this is the second year he will start alongside his good friend, Miami’s LeBron James. Boston’s Kevin Garnett was also named as a starter and he and Anthony will see plenty of each other this weekend, one month after they traded insults during a Celtic win in New York. Anthony was suspended one game by the league after he confronted Garnett near the Celtics’ locker room and team bus because the Boston forward allegedly made a derogatory comment about his wife. Anthony said the following the day that he and Garnett put the incident to rest after speaking.

The Knicks are not worried about Anthony’s interaction with Garnett in Houston as much as they are concerned with his health. He has missed seven games this season due to hand and ankle injuries while averaging 38 minutes per game and being the focal point of the Knick offense.

Health has been a recurring issue with the Knicks this season with Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby each missing at least 30 games. Raymond Felton was out 12 games with a broken finger while Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert were each absent the first two months of the season after knee surgery. Jason Kidd, who will turn 40 next month, has been bothered by a sore back and his production has fallen off.

Anthony’s health is essential to the Knicks’ long-range plans. In order for them to make a serious run at a championship, they will need the former Nugget to be physically fit over the final 32 games, including 18 away from the Garden.

The Knicks are second in the East, 3½ games behind Miami and they have beaten the Heat twice this season. Even though his team has lost three of its last four and barely escaped Minnesota with a win, Mike Woodson painted a more optimistic picture of the next four months, saying that the Knicks are a legitimate contender. That sentiment was echoed in the locker room by Anthony as well as center Tyson Chandler, who will be appearing in his first All-Star Game.

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