Maybe the delayed training camp won't be so bad for Carmelo Anthony.
The Knicks forward revealed more elements to his mysterious offseason, disclosing last night he had knee and elbow surgery simultaneously in May. Anthony disclosed the surgeries after playing 48 minutes and dropping 31 points with 17 rebounds last night at the sweaty Palestra in a lockout-inspired barnstorming-tour loss.
The Knicks never announced the procedures. Anthony said he had arthroscopic surgery on the left knee and an elbow procedure, as he suffers from chronic bursitis.
"Can't tell, can you?" Anthony said after his rugged performance.
Anthony said it was the first time in his life he's had surgery.
"I did both of them," Anthony said. "They were bothering me seven years."
Anthony said the procedures came at the same time. The Post had reported in June that he was shut down in the offseason by the Knicks to rest his elbow bursititis, but Anthony had never complained about knee soreness.
He did not return to the basketball court until August when Team Melo, representing Baltimore, started its barnstorming tour. The 6-8 small forward claims he's down to 230 pounds - which is four pounds less than he was last season.
"I would be coming back at training camp, if there is one, less than than I left last year," Anthony said. " I feel good mentally and physically. My mindset is about starting next week. That's where my mindset is at and body is at. Games are fun for charity, but at the same time we want to get something out of it."
Playing with LeBron James and Chris Paul before 8,000 in the non-air conditioned University of Pennsylvania arena, Anthony tired in the second half, scoring just 11 of his 31 points. His 3-point shot was errant - 1 of 7. He finished 9 of 24 but did heavy damage inside and on the boards, and reached the free throw line plenty - going 12 of 14.
Still, the Big 3 got beaten by modest Team Philly, 131-122, in what was billed as the battle of I-95. The arena was bedlam, with organizers charging $35 a ticket, going to the charities of Anthony and Hakim Warrick.
Training camps set to begin Oct. 3 were postponed indefinitely because of the lockout, but talks resume this week.
"We don't know how powerful we are right now," Anthony said of the union. "We support Billy (Hunter) 100 percent. We got to stick together as players. In the meantime, we'll keep doing stuff like this, keep having basketball games, keep playing and giving fans what they want. It's not everything they want. They want a season."
Team Melo fell down 16 points in the first half to a Team Philly Big 3 of Tyreke Evans, Louis Williams and Warrick. But the LeBron-Anthony-Paul troika rallied within one with 2:45 left before James missed two straight treys and that was that. James played all 48 minutes and scored 43 points with 23 boards (1 of 8 on treys) and blew off the media. Paul had an sorry night - 3 of 12 for 6 points, but had one wonderful bounce-pass assist to Anthony, stirring up fantasies of what could be if he signs with the Knicks in 2012. nypost