Amar'e Stoudemire hopes his surgically repaired right knee will be 100 percent in time for the postseason. If it's not, he said he will be ready for training camp in the fall.
Stoudemire had his right knee cleaned out on March 11, five months after having the same procedure on his left knee. He said his rehab is going well, but he still hasn't done any running or work on the court.
"There is no timetable set on my return,'' Stoudemire said on a conference call Thursday. "Hopefully I can return soon enough for the postseason. I'm gearing toward that. If not, I'm going to make sure I'm ready and a hundred percent.''
It makes sense for the $100- million man to wait until he's 100 percent before he plays again, especially given that he said this latest issue was bound to happen, which could be an ominous sign.
Stoudemire, 30, has had multiple operations on both knees throughout his career. He said the right knee problem had nothing to do with playing four games in five nights or logging extra minutes because the Knicks were without Carmelo Anthony for all or part of three of those games.
"I think it was just a matter of time before it happened,'' said Stoudemire, who averaged 14.2 points in 29 games off the bench. "It actually happened at the perfect time because it gives me a chance to have hope to return for the postseason.''
It took Stoudemire more than two months to return from the debridement of his left knee in October. The Knicks said he would miss about six weeks after having what Stoudemire called "a minor procedure'' this time.
He was asked if it would be prudent to just get stronger and make sure he's fully healthy for next season rather than try to come back now. "It all depends on how I feel,'' he said. "If I feel 100 percent by the postseason, then I should be ready for next season as well. If not, then I probably would have to wait until next season.''
The conference call was for the documentary "Amar'e Stoudemire: In The Moment'' that premieres April 19 on EPIX. He said some of his recent recovery work will be included as well as what he has had to overcome the last few years.
Stoudemire said he felt soreness in his right knee March 7 against the Thunder, which was the end of four games in five nights. He averaged 18 points in those four games.
"Definitely frustrating because I was starting to play well and I was feeling great,'' he said. "It comes with the game of basketball. It happens to be something I've had to deal with through my career. But I keep my spirits up. I just have to attack my recovery the way I attack the rim.''
The Knicks are playing well and will go for a season-high seventh straight win Friday night against Charlotte.
Mike Woodson said on ESPN Radio Thursday that "there's a possibility'' Stoudemire, Rasheed Wallace (left foot surgery) and Kurt Thomas (stress reaction/stress fracture right foot) will return in the playoffs.
Whenever Stoudemire returns, he said he's not worried that he won't be the player he was before these surgeries.
"You can never have that thought process,'' he said. "When you have that thought process, you already put yourself in a position to lose. I would never have that thought process.''