When Amar'e Stoudemire returns to Knicks, Mike Woodson ready to play him
Updated On: Apr 22 2013 08:22:51 AM CDT
The Knicks still can’t be sure if or when Amar’e Stoudemire will be available in the playoffs following March knee surgery, but Mike Woodson is certain he will put the $100 million forward right back into the Knicks’ rotation upon returning. “Amar’e is going to always be a big piece of our team, that’s without a doubt,” Woodson said Sunday on a conference call. “He’s progressing right along. When he’s going to play, I don’t know at this point. But if he’s able to make it back, he will be back in the rotation ready to play.” Stoudemire missed the first 30 games of the season following a debridement procedure on his left knee during training camp, before also undergoing the same procedure on his right knee on March 11. In between, he appeared in 29 games off the bench, averaging 14.2 points and 5.0 rebounds over 23:30 per game. Woodson said last week that he wouldn’t expect Stoudemire back at any point against the Celtics – “I think he’s going to be out. That’s my gut” -- although subsequent rounds remain a possibility. “I’m expecting him to do what he was doing before he left, because he played some pretty good, positive minutes for our ball club before he got hurt,” Woodson said. “Again, it just adds one more good piece -- great piece -- to the puzzle back out on the floor as we continue this journey.”
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