Amar'e says he's doubtful for Sunday; Woodson more optimistic

Amare Stoudemire watches from the baseline with his Amare Stoudemire watches from the baseline with his arm in a sling during Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat. (May 3, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Amar'e Stoudemire joked that he told his Knicks teammates not to hit anything after they lost Game 3 to the Heat on Thursday, but he quickly turned serious as he discussed his self-inflicted hand injury.

An almost defiant Stoudemire said he nearly lost the use of his left hand when he hit the glass panel that held a fire extinguisher after Game 2 in Miami on Monday. He seems to be recovering quickly and might return for Game 4 Sunday when the Knicks try to avoid being swept. If Stoudemire does play, he said it will be for the fans who supported him and his teammates.

"All the fans that stuck with me deserve to see me back on the court," Stoudemire said Friday. "But it's mainly for my teammates, because they're working their butts off all season to be in this position to try to go to the next round. For the guys that may not be back next year, I want to make sure I still leave a great memory on the court with them before it's all said and done. Hopefully, we can get a win Sunday, take it to Miami for Wednesday."

Stoudemire went through a workout after practice that included running a two-man fast break with either Jeremy Lin or Toney Douglas. Stoudemire's hand is taped and padded, but he was handling the ball with his left hand, palmed it and seemed to shoot with little restriction.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he thinks Stoudemire will play but said he hasn't determined if he will start. Stoudemire said he's still "sore" and called himself doubtful. He wants to see how he feels Saturday. But he was upset about some of the criticism he's received in the media and from the fans for the incident and wanted to get something off his chest.

"It was a pretty significant cut," he said. "I feel extremely blessed in the situation [because] the cut was a millimeter away from a nerve. If you think about a millimeter, it's something that's just as thin as a strand of your hair. So I feel like I'm extremely, extremely blessed.

"I know there's a lot of jokes, a lot of fun made out of it, but it was a serious matter for me and my family because it was so close to my nerve. But I feel great that I'm back, being able to get back on the basketball court and still run and play and use my hand, off an incident that wasn't on purpose, just a reaction out of losing a game, almost cost me my hand."

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