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Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.

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Amar'e Stoudemire close to returning to practice

Amar'e Stoudemire warms up before a game against

Amar'e Stoudemire warms up before a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Madison Square Garden. (Dec. 13, 2012) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Amar’e Stoudemire is getting closer to being cleared for practice. Mike Woodson said there might be an update after Monday night’s game against Jeremy Lin and the Rockets.

Woodson said Stoudemire still hasn’t been given the OK. But he wouldn’t rule out Stoudemire doing something Tuesday if the Knicks hold practice.

“We’ll see,” Woodson said. “We’ll know more tonight after the game.”

Stoudemire had a debridement on his left knee on Halloween to remove dead tissue. The prognosis was he would be 6-8 weeks. Stoudemire is in that timeframe and he has upped the intensity of his workouts lately.

“I think he’s moving in a positive way,” Woodson said. “Everything is going according to plan. We just haven’t had any time to get some practice in. Hopefully we’ll practice some tomorrow and see where he is.”

The Knicks have played every other day since Dec. 9, but haven't held a practice on their off days. Woodson isn’t sure how many practices Stoudemire would be need before he can make his season debut.

“After that first practice we got to weigh how he feels the next day,” Woodson said. “That’s the whole key. If he’s sore the next day then you’re going to have to back off until you gradually get him where we need to have him. I am not throwing any of these guys out there where they have a chance to fail.”

When Stoudemire returns, it probably will be off the bench to ease him back into the rotation. But the Knicks have been playing so well with Carmelo Anthony at power forward that Woodson has to at least consider bringing Stoudemire off the bench full time.

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Carmelo Anthony is a game-time decision tonight. He had treatment and didn’t take part in shootaround. He likely will test his sprained left ankle before the game. If Anthony can’t play, Woodson said he would start either Chris Copeland again or James White.

The Knicks won’t have Rasheed Wallace (sore left foot) or Marcus Camby (plantar fasciitis, left foot) tonight.
 

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