Knicks taking it easy with injured Amar'e Stoudemire
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Amar'e Stoudemire's swollen left knee kept him from scrimmaging Friday, and he is expected to miss a second straight preseason game Saturday night when the Knicks face the Celtics in Hartford.
"We'll take the precautionary route," Stoudemire said after a walkthrough, some jump shots and treatment on the knee, which was wrapped in an orange sleeve. "A bone bruise is never a fun thing; it takes a while for it to heal. Now we're just trying to break up the blood [accumulating] in there and loosen it up and get ready. I could play if I needed to, but it's preseason, so we're not looking to force anything."
Stoudemire, who has chronic knee problems and underwent microfracture surgery in October 2005 while with the Suns, was hurt on a drive to the hoop in practice Wednesday and sat out the Knicks' 108-101 win over the Wizards in Washington on Thursday.
Stoudemire said he tried to make a powerful move and banged knees with forward Chris Copeland. "At the time it didn't feel bad," he said, "but when it all settled down and I was able to relax a little bit, that's when it has a tendency to get tight and it restricts some movement there."
He downplayed the injury Friday. "I wouldn't think the worst right now," he said. "There's another five [preseason] games left. We've got plenty of time to get 100 percent, and that's the key right now."
After last season ended painfully, with a bulging disc in his back and a cut hand from punching the glass casing of a fire extinguisher in Miami, the setback is disappointing for Stoudemire.
"I can't wait to get out there. I want to play," he said. "But the training staff is telling me to take it easy, no need to rush."
Coach Mike Woodson said: "We'll see where we go tomorrow when he comes out for the shootaround. Again, it ain't no big rush, but he's fine. I think if he had to play, he would play. Right now, we're just trying to make sure -- like J.R. [Smith, who also didn't practice], it's kind of a maintenance day. We've been doing a lot of running, guys. We're one game into the exhibition season. There's a long journey ahead of us."
Notes & quotes: Steve Novak, who was 7-for-7 from three-point range in the opener, called the sharpshooting a very good sign. "To come out and shoot the ball well like that, for me, you haven't really played in a real game setting for several months, so it's good to know, 'Hey, I still got it.' It's good for my confidence, but it's preseason, and we know that the real test starts in five more games."