Knicks 'zzone

Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.

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Mike Woodson says he's not sure 'if' Amar'e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin will return

Jeremy Lin and Amar'e Stoudemire look on late

Jeremy Lin and Amar'e Stoudemire look on late in the game against the New Orleans Hornets. (Feb. 17, 2012) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

ATLANTA - Mike Woodson set off some alarms at shootaround Friday morning when he was talking about the status of Amar’e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin.

Woodson sounded uncertain whether either player would come back this season.

“I have no idea when these guys are going to return, if they’re going to return,” Woodson said. “I just don’t know.”

Lin has a sore left knee that wasn’t expected to keep him out significant time. He will miss his third straight game Friday night when the Knicks play the Hawks.

Stoudemire is out 2-4 weeks with a bulging disk in his back so there was always the possibility that he would not return before the regular season ended or for the playoffs.

He had an epidural shot Thursday, and it’s too soon to know how he’s responded to that or the non-surgical treatment.

Lin made the trip to Atlanta but didn’t speak to the media at the morning shootaround.

“He’s out,” Woodson said. “Still day-to-day. Amar’e’s out. He had his epidural shot yesterday. It’s just day-to-day with him right now.”

It’s more than day-to-day with Stoudemire and it might be more than day-to-day with Lin, too. The Knicks play the Cavaliers on Saturday and it sounds as if he's out for that game, too.

The Knicks said Lin is shooting to return during next week's road trip depending how he feels. They're at Indiana Tuesday and Orlando on Thursday.

The Knicks will keep the same starting five they’ve used the last two games: Baron Davis, Iman Shumpert, Tyson Chandler, Landry Fields and Carmelo Anthony.

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This is Woodson’s first time back to Atlanta since he was fired after the 2009-10 season. He spent six years coaching the Hawks and was replaced by his former assistant and teammate Larry Drew. But the two have had a falling out.

Woodson was asked if he spoke to Drew.

“We haven’t talked,” Woodson said. “I just want to talk about basketball. Let’s keep it that way.”
 

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