Monday, December 31, 2012
Stoudemire is questionable vs. Portland
By Ian Begley
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Amar'e Stoudemire has scrimmaged on consecutive days for the first time since his Oct. 31 left knee debridement, but there is no guarantee that he will suit up for the Knicks on New Year's Day.
After practice on Monday, the Knicks listed Stoudemire as questionable for Tuesday's game against Portland.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Stoudemire's status will depend on how his surgically-repaired left knee responds Tuesday. If he feels soreness in his knee, the coach said, "we'll have to back off."
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The Knicks had hoped that Stoudemire would return for their Jan. 1 game against the Blazers.
But Stoudemire said on Sunday that his knee was less than 80 percent healthy. He reported feeling soreness and a lack of explosion. He did not speak to reporters on Monday.
Woodson said after Monday's practice that it was 'nice' to see Stoudemire get through consecutive scrimmages but noted that the power forward still needed to work on his conditioning.
"He's not there," Woodson said.
The coach added that Stoudemire has to work on defensive positioning and grasping the team's terminology on defense. Woodson doesn't expect Stoudemire to play "big" minutes when he returns.
"It's still going to take a little while for him. That's expected," Woodson said. "You can't expect that when he does decide to play, that he's going to flow right in and everything's going to happen magically for him, because that's not always the case."
Carmelo Anthony, who is also questionable for Tuesday's game with a hyperextended left knee, worked on the floor with Stoudemire on Monday for the first time since mid-October.
"It felt good today seeing him back out there, running our offense, getting him back into the flow of things ... he’s fitting right in," Anthony said. "Right now, it’s all about him getting his legs underneath of him. When he’s ready to come back, our arms are open for him."
If Stoudemire does not play Tuesday, he will have an opportunity to practice with the Knicks on Wednesday, if the team chooses to do so. New York then will have to make a decision for Thursday's home game against San Antonio.
The Knicks' next game is Saturday night in Orlando, near Stoudemire's hometown.