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Stoudemire makes strong stride in return to action

Updated: July 9, 2006, 12:48 AM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

LAS VEGAS -- No hammer dunks. No blocks resembling a volleyball spike. There really wasn't a single gasp-inducing moment in the desert Friday where you were you moved to exclaim: That's Amare.

But that's nitpicking.

The only mission for Amare Stoudemire in his long-awaited return to game conditions was running freely. The aim was moving with the confidence he didn't have back in March, when he had to abort his comeback from microfracture knee surgery after three games.

"This ...

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