Amar'e Stoudemire focused but still unsure of return date

Amar'e Stoudemire works on free throws during team

Amar'e Stoudemire works on free throws during team practice. (Oct. 8, 2012) (Credit: James Escher)

Amar'e Stoudemire was in good spirits, laughing with Spike Lee, Suns coaches and broadcasters, and even some reporters Sunday. But he wouldn't reveal his progress from left knee surgery or when he'll return.

Stoudemire was asked if he still is on target to return six to eight weeks after his Oct. 31 operation.

"We'll see," Stoudemire said before laughing.

It's possible that Stoudemire, who had a procedure to remove damaged or dead tissue, won't know until he actually practices and puts his knee to the test.

He has been working out more the last couple of days, running, shooting jump shots and turning on the knee. But it's unclear when he will be able to practice fully.

There is a stretch after this week's three-game road trip when the Knicks will play every other night, which will give him opportunities to practice. There has been speculation that he'll return around Christmas, but he's quiet on that matter.

"I'm focused," he said.

Wallace ejected

Rasheed Wallace displayed his infamous on-court temper and lasted only 1:25. He was called for a personal foul on Luis Scola, but Scola kept playing and Wallace slapped down on his arms and was called for a technical foul.

Wallace said his trademark "ball don't lie" along with other things that earned him a second technical and first ejection as a Knick with 1:14 left in the first quarter.

He wasn't available to the media after the game, but Carmelo Anthony said Wallace apologized to the team.

"Scola kept playing after the play," Anthony said. "In this league, it's something called continuation. 'Sheed stopped him and they gave him a tech. It is what it is. 'Sheed came back here and said he apologized to us. We move on."

Knicks coach Mike Woodson didn't want to comment. "I'm not going there," he said. "I'll leave that alone."

Stepping up

The Knicks already were without Marcus Camby (sore left foot), so rookie Chris Copeland got some playing time after Wallace's ejection. Copeland played 10 minutes and scored eight points, including a one-handed follow dunk of a missed three-pointer by Anthony.

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