New York Knicks' Amare Stoudemire leaves American Airlines Arena with...

New York Knicks' Amare Stoudemire leaves American Airlines Arena with his left arm in a sling after an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. (April 30, 2012) Credit: AP

MIAMI -- The Knicks' series against the Heat took a bizarre turn after Game 2 Monday night when Amar'e Stoudemire left the arena with his left hand heavily bandaged and his arm in a sling, his status for the rest of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals in doubt.

Stoudemire suffered a severe laceration when he punched a glass case in which a fire extinguisher was housed outside the team's locker room at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Reporters were prevented by security officials from speaking to Stoudemire as he headed for the team bus. The Knicks said his status would be evaluated upon their return to New York.

They are not scheduled to practice Tuesday; Game 3 is Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

The team's locker room was closed to reporters for about 40 minutes after the game -- four times longer than usual -- and paramedics were seen leaving the room after treating Stoudemire. Both the Knicks and Heat doctors also worked on Stoudemire.

His teammates did not sound optimistic that he will be in uniform Thursday.

"We just know right now that he has a laceration and he's probably going to be out," Tyson Chandler said. "It's tough, obviously. Amar'e is a huge part of this team. Without him, it's going to make it more difficult.

"We already lost one player [Iman Shumpert]. That's two players out of the starting lineup. It makes it tougher.''

Carmelo Anthony said he did not know much about Stoudemire's condition, but he shook his head when asked to comment on the latest turn in a postseason already hampered by injuries and illness.

"Man, I really don't know how to put that in words," he said. "But it's a tough situation. It seems like it's always something happening. Snakebit. But it is what it is. We have to move forward."

Stoudemire got off to a slow start in the Knicks' 104-94 loss in Game 2, but he finished with respectable numbers: 18 points, 6-for-9 shooting with seven rebounds. Still, the frustration of the team's 12th consecutive playoff loss and sixth in a row during Stoudemire's term with the team evidently got to him.

"Nobody wants to lose," Anthony said. "My thing as one of the leaders of this team is you have to keep everybody positive, keep everybody's heads up. It's far from over."

If Stoudemire can't play anymore in the series, it might be. "He's one of the keys on this team,'' Anthony said. "We need him. I need him out there. I need him fighting with me."

Heat guard Dwyane Wade said he hopes Stoudemire plays in Game 3 and beyond. "We love when Amar'e is out there," he said. "He brings out the best in our guys."

Chandler was asked whether it was hard to see someone do something that damages the team's chances.

"It's tough," he said. "Your emotions run high. Split-second decisions can obviously alter things and you can't fault anybody. Amar'e is a person that has high emotions at times, so one quick decision-making mistake and now you've got to deal with the repercussions."

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