Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.
Mike Woodson can't say when Amar'e Stoudemire will return
GREENBURGH - Next to Amar’e Stoudemire’s name on the injury report was “limited practice.” Mike Woodson said Stoudemire shot around during the Knicks’ first workout of training camp, and reiterated that they would take it slow with him.
Woodson couldn’t commit to Stoudemire, who has had three knee surgeries within the last year including one over the summer, being available when the season opens Oct. 30 against the Bucks.
“It's hard for me to even comment on that,” Woodson said. “I think right now it's nice to see him out today on the floor. But we've just got to take it a day at a time. We're not rushing, let's put it that way. We want to make sure when he steps on the floor that he's right for the minutes that we decide to give him.”
Those minutes haven’t been set because it’s hard to truly know when and if Stoudemire can play, although Woodson was talking about his options in the post and said he’s going to “utilize Amar’e when he gets back.”
If and when that time comes, Woodson said Stoudemire, who played 29 games last season, wouldn’t play heavy minutes.
“We're just taking it a day at a time with STAT,” Woodson said. “STAT's still a big piece of this puzzle, I think. And I think we've got to utilize it and I've got to be smart enough this year to really maximize his minutes.
“I don't think we can really play him 30 minutes. I think coming back, along with the medical staff, we've got to groom some minutes that are beneficial for our team when he's out on the floor. He can grow from that. But I don't think we start him out at 25-30 minutes a game, that’s not going to happen.”