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News » 'Melo cleared to return for Nuggets on Friday

'Melo cleared to return for Nuggets on Friday

'Melo cleared to return for Nuggets on Friday
DENVER (AP) - Carmelo Anthony still has a tiny fracture in a bone in his right hand.

However, it's nothing that a little white athletic tape can't remedy.

The Denver forward has been cleared by his doctor to play Friday night against Charlotte, provided he tapes up his two middle fingers to protect the healing hand.

"No tape, no play," Anthony said after a strenuous workout on the court Thursday that lasted around an hour. "That was (the doctor's) quote. Got to listen to that."

Anthony was injured on Jan. 5 when Indiana center Jeff Foster swatted at the ball, catching a good chunk of Anthony's shooting hand. Anthony played through the second half despite numbness.

Afterward, he found out the hand had a fracture and he'd be out around four weeks.

Turns out, he's a fast healer.

"The doc didn't know how well my hand was going to heal," Anthony said. "Today, he was surprised at how well it healed. I healed faster than I thought, faster than he thought."

He was hoping for even more good news Thursday night, but it didn't arrive as Anthony wasn't among the players selected as a Western Conference reserve.

Instead, teammate Chauncey Billups made the squad, his fourth straight All-Star appearance.

"The only reason why is because of the injury," Billups said of Anthony's exclusion. "It's just an unfortunate situation."

Anthony realizes the hand is now an open invitation for even more swipes from opposing players.

Not that he's concerned.

"There's nothing I can do to prevent it but sit out," he said.

Hardly an option. Anthony is sick of sitting on the sideline. He's already missed 10 games because of the fractured hand, the team going 6-4 in his absence.

"I'm so excited to have him back," Billups said. "We need him desperately right now."


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Added: January 30, 2009


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