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Nuggets star has missed five games

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Carmelo Anthony is becoming impatient
with his injured left ankle.

Denver's star forward and leading scorer missed his fifth
straight game Monday night when the Nuggets played the Golden State
Warriors, but he expects to return Friday when Denver hosts
Philadelphia in its next game.

"I'm probably 95 percent," Anthony said. "I know how I feel.
These next couple days will get me back."

The Nuggets opted to sit him another day so Anthony will be
assured of having two good practices on his ankle before Friday's
game.

Forward Kenyon Martin also was sidelined Monday as a
precautionary measure because of a mid-back strain on his left
side. He was listed as day to day.

Martin, the Nuggets' second-leading scorer at 15.2 points per
game, experienced back spasms in the first half of Sunday night's
102-88 loss to Dallas and missed the second half. He's still having
discomfort in his back.

Anthony, averaging 21.4 points and six rebounds, hasn't played
since spraining his ankle Dec. 17 against the Miami Heat when he
stepped on Shaquille O'Neal's foot.

Anthony went through non-contact drills with the Nuggets on
Friday, but coach Jeff Bzdelik said he wasn't ready to go against
the Mavericks and would be doubtful Monday night at Golden State.

Anthony has never missed this many games, and it's been
especially hard since Denver had lost five in a row and seven of
eight heading into the game against the Warriors.

"Injuries are the worst, especially ankle injuries," Anthony
said. "I don't use it as an excuse [for our problems]. I can't
really put my finger on what's going on."