Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 12/17/12
Jeremy Lin became a breakout star for the New York Knicks with Carmelo Anthony on the bench last season, and now his highly anticipated return to Madison Square Garden will come under a similar set of circumstances. Anthony will miss Monday night's game against Lin and the Houston Rockets with a sprained left ankle, the star forward's second straight game on the bench after landing awkwardly on the ankle in the second half of Thursday's win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Anthony will be replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Chris Copeland, and the rest of the lineup will be the same, with Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton, Ronnie Brewer and Tyson Chandler taking the floor against Houston in Lin's only visit to the Garden this season. "If he could play I'm sure he would have been in uniform tonight," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said of Anthony. "But he couldn't go, and we've just got to move on and Cope's got to come in and play." It's not the first time Anthony has missed time for the East-leading Knicks (18-5). Anthony missed two games earlier this season after cutting his left middle finger diving for a loose ball in a road win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Dec. 5. New York went 1-1 with Anthony on the bench. Woodson said Anthony made the decision not to play during Monday morning's film session, despite wanting to play against Lin in front of the home crowd. He'll have another tough decision to make Wednesday, when the Brooklyn Nets visit Madison Square Garden for the first time. "We'll evaluate him again tomorrow when we get to practice and see where he is," Woodson said. "Hopefully, he'll be ready Wednesday, but we just don't know at this point. ... 'Melo wants to play, and that's a good thing. But it's a long season, and I'm not going to waste one game because of who we're playing."
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