Stoudemire to make season debut against Portland
The New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire, who missed the first two months of regular season due to a left knee injury will make his regular season debut against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday. New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson plans on bringing Amar’e Stoudemire off bench, a notion the player has been highly receptive of lately.
Amar’e Sotudemire had a knee surgery on 21st October. Shortly afterwards, Amar’e Stoudemire underwent a left knee debridement due to a popliteal cyst rupture developing in the surgically repaired knee. Amar’s Stoudemire had been rehabbing with the New York Knicks D-League affiliates, and only resumed practice with the Knicks on Sunday.
"It would be great if I could go January 1, but again, I can't determine how I'll feel (Monday) or the following day,” Amar’e Stoudemire said after Sunday’s practice. “But if the next two days go well and I continue to improve, then that would be a great day to start back playing."
The 30-year-old wasn’t available to the media on Monday, but Mike Woodson expressed a good feeling about Amar’e Stoudemire playing against the Porland Trail Blazers tonight at Madison Garden Square.
"I thought (Stoudemire) moved around pretty good. We'll assess him (Tuesday),” Mike Woodson noted after practice on Sunday. “Still day-to-day as far as I'm concerned. We'll see how he feels and he'll let us know, but he got through everything today, which is kind of nice."
However, there are a few questions pending Amar’e Stoudemire’s comeback as the six-time All-Star recently expressed he wasn’t even at 80 percent yet.
But with injuries piling up (most significantly Marcus Camby, Raheed Wallace and Tyson Chandler), the New York Knicks need bodies. And Amar’e Stoudemire serves as more than just a body.
"We need him," New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony said on Friday. "I know we are playing well, but the more bodies, the better, especially at this point where guys are doing well…We are ready for him."
Amar’e Stoudemire said on Sunday that he was willing to “sacrifice” his health for the “betterment of the team.”
However, Amar’e Stoudemire makes the most impact in a pick-and-roll situation with New York Knicks guard Raymond Felton. Unfortunately for the New York Knicks, Raymond Felton is out 4-6 weeks with a fracture finger.
In Amare’ Stoudemire’s absence, Carmelo Anthony replaced him in the lineup, and was leading the NBA second in scoring with 28.5 points per game until he suffered a hyper-extended left knee during the Christmas loss to Los Angeles Lakers. Carmelo Anthony has missed the past two-games with knee injury but remains a game-time decision against the Portland Trail Blazers. The 28-year-old Carmelo Anthony is expected to test out his knee in the pre-game warmups Tuesday after remaining limited in practice on Monday.
"Still trying to get my lift back," said Carmelo Anthony on Monday. “It still does not feel right as far as my bounce and having my lift and the power that I need off that."
Amar’e Sotudemire’s return is expected to raise chemistry issues for a successful New York Knicks team (21-9) this season. So, Amar’e Sotudemire will remain more active in low post to make room on floor for Carmelo Anthony.
The New York Knicks are currently the Atlantic Division leaders, and just half-game behind Miami Heat for best record in Eastern Conference.