Amar'e Stoudemire's biggest goal this season: Stay healthy

Amar'e Stoudemire looks on during a timeout of

Amar'e Stoudemire looks on during a timeout of a game against the Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden. (Feb. 4, 2013) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Aside from winning a championship, Amar'e Stoudemire's main goal for this season is to stay off the operating table.

Surgeries on both knees limited Stoudemire last season and have the Knicks trying to find ways to prevent that from happening again.

They're expected to limit Stoudemire to about 20 minutes per game this season and might not use him in both ends of back-to-backs. Also Stoudemire hasn't taken part in the scrimmages with the other Knicks in preparation for the start of training camp next week.

Stoudemire said during an interview with "SI Now" Tuesday that he's been working out twice a day and is "trying to preserve strength in the knees" in his latest attempt to prove he can return to form after surgery and sustain it.

"Sometimes you got to try to get over the hump and see if you can get healthy enough to play again," Stoudemire said in the interview. "That's the goal for myself."

Stoudemire, 30, had his left knee scoped in October and then his right knee in March. He returned to play in the Knicks' last four playoff games, but was rusty and ineffective. He scored 15 points in 33 minutes against the Pacers.

Overall, Stoudemire, a six-time All-Star, appeared in 29 regular season games last season, averaging 14.2 points and 5.0 rebounds off the bench. He said he's not concerned with starting or being a sixth man this season. Stoudemire, who had microfracture surgery on his left knee in 2005, just hopes to be injury-free.

"I've been very successful in my career," Stoudemire said. "I've accomplished a lot, pretty much more than what I could imagine. It's not more so about accepting the role of a sixth man or starting. It's more so staying healthy and trying to prolong my body and my career and being the best that I can be for the Knicks."

Stoudemire has two years and about $45 million remaining on his contract. If he can stay healthy, he could provide the Knicks with another scoring weapon behind Carmelo Anthony, which they especially missed in the playoff series with the Pacers.

One question that remains is whether Anthony and Stoudemire can coexist successfully. Stoudemire believes they have learned how to play together and pointed to the fact they have been to the playoffs all three seasons together.

"It takes a little adjustment for both players," Stoudemire said. "We've both made that adjustment. On my end, I'm still battling injuries, trying to prolong my health. Other than that we seem to play well together."

 

Knicks add center

The Knicks signed 6-11 center Cole Aldrich to a non-guaranteed deal Tuesday. Aldrich, the No. 11 pick out of Kansas in 2010, has averaged 2.0 points and 2.3 rebounds with the Thunder, Rockets and Kings.

The Dolan family owns controlling interests in the Knicks, Madison Square Garden and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.

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