New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson is expecting Amare Stoudemire to return to the team’s lineup for Game 3 of their series with the Indiana Pacers.
Stoudemire hasn’t played since March 7th due to an injury to his right knee. Amare underwent a minor surgery back on March 11th to clean out some debris in the knee.
He’s been officially ruled out of Games 1 and 2 of the Pacers-Knicks series, but has a good chance playing in Game 3, which will be played a week from Saturday.
Woodson said that Stoudemire will start scrimmaging with the team on Thursday. If his knee holds up, he will partake in scrimmages again on Friday.
Mike Woodson told reporters,
“If he feels fine after Friday, then I think we will play him Saturday.”
There has been definite concern regarding how Stoudemire would fit into New York’s scheme. The Knicks ended the regular season going 17-6, while Stoudemire was sidelined, and they are just coming off of winning their first NBA playoffs series since 2000.
Kenyon Martin has been a solid contributor in place of Stoudemire. Coach Woodson also told reporters that Martin’s minutes would not be affected by Stoudemire’s return. Most likely Stoudemire would take minutes that would normally be given to injured guard Steve Novak.
Woodson has no doubt that the 6’11″ Stoudemire would help the New York Knicks in the paint versus an Indiana team that holds a significant size advantage over them.
Woodson went on about Amare Stoudemire saying,
“If he’s right he can help us a lot. There’s no doubt.”