Whether in a tweet, or a blog post, or an e-mail from an obnoxious friend, at some point over the past few days you've been expecting to hear some piece of horrifying news regarding Carmelo Anthony's knee.
Surely, there would be a tendon out of whack, a joint operating in ways it shouldn't, or an MRI revealing either a tear or a piece of Polly-O string cheese where a ligament should be. I was bracing for horror.
So it was especially encouraging to not only see Carmelo Anthony in uniform, but playing actual minutes and looking quite good in the process. In Anthony's two previous "returns" from this particular knee pain, he looked a shell of his previous self, inspiring the type of dread that emerges when one realizes a ship is sinking and that they are on board.
But none of that seemed to be bothering him in what was a relatively pain-free win for everyone in Wednesday's rout of Orlando. Certainly, playing a team as hideous as the Magic was just what the doctor ordered after New York's fairly brutal west coast swing, but it doesn't diminish how comforting it was to see Anthony do all of the things we've grown accustomed to seeing him do.
Which isn't to say that a win over Orlando restores the full faith and credit of a Knicks team looking thoroughly on the decline, but without a healthy Anthony there would be pretty much zero reason to even wake up in the morning, let alone actually watch the games.
For those who maybe wanted it, New York got a taste of life without Melo, and it turned out to be a cruel and desolate place, one finally brightened by a promising return.