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Amar'e Stoudemire could play Saturday, says Mike Woodson

Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire, right, smiles as Tyson Chandler

Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire, right, smiles as Tyson Chandler reacts after hitting a basket and getting fouled during the fourth quarter against the Nets. (Feb. 4, 2012) Credit: AP

MILWAUKEE -- In less than 24 hours, Amar'e Stoudemire went from being "out a while" to possibly playing Saturday with "no restrictions."

Mike Woodson created some confusion Tuesday when he said Stoudemire had swelling in his surgically repaired knees and would be "out a while." Not long after, Stoudemire tweeted, "IM NOT INJURED."

Woodson backtracked Wednesday after speaking with Stoudemire. Woodson said the swelling is "kind of gone," and Stoudemire could play "between 25 and 30" minutes against the Grizzlies Saturday.

"That's a blip on my part because he's not injured," Woodson said before the Knicks played the Bucks. "You guys kind of ran with that. My thing is he's going to be out. There's a chance he can possibly play when we get back home based on my conversation I had after he had treatment [Tuesday].

"But he has logged some games and not a whole lot of days to rest. We've kind of been open minded because it's still a long way to go. He thought he needed some rest. So he's home resting."

Stoudemire, who had three knee surgeries in a 10-month period, opened the season playing limited minutes and no back-to-backs. On Monday he completed a stretch of six games in nine nights that included two sets of back-to-backs. He didn't move well Monday and was limping in the second half against Washington.

Woodson said Stoudemire had complained of soreness before the Washington game and had swelling Tuesday -- but not anymore. "I'm expecting him after we get back to play on Saturday against Memphis," Woodson said. "So that's a good thing."

Short on bigs

With Tyson Chandler back after missing 20 games with a broken right leg, Andrea Bargnani came off the bench for the first time since opening night. Woodson did that in part because the Knicks have few available big men. Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin (strained abdominal muscle) are sidelined, so the Knicks' only other healthy center is seldom-used Cole Aldrich.

Fast breaks

Beno Udrih spoke about the breakdown that gave Wizards guard Bradley Beal the game-winning layup Monday. "In the timeout it was said to force him down and we were going to trap him," Udrih said. "But we were not on the same page" . . . Udrih started at point Wednesday night with Raymond Felton (strained hamstring) and Pablo Prigioni (broken right big toe) out of the lineup. Rookie Toure' Murry ran the second team. He had no points and one assist in 9.52 minutes.

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