Amar'e Stoudemire works on free throws during team practice. (Oct....

Amar'e Stoudemire works on free throws during team practice. (Oct. 8, 2012) Credit: James Escher

Amar’e Stoudemire bruised his left knee in practice yesterday and is out for tonight’s preseason opener against the Wizards.

The Knicks are downplaying the injury. Mike Woodson said, “If this was a regular season game he would play.” But after everything Stoudemire went through last season and the age of the team always being an issue, any injury raises questions.

At least at this point Stoudemire hasn’t had any issues with his back. It’s been his ankle and his knee that has kept him out.

“He’s fine,” Woodson said at the morning shootaround. “We’re going to hold him out tonight. We’ll get an opportunity to look at some of the young guys. He’ll be fine.”

In his place, 40-year, Kurt Thomas will start at power forward. No word yet who will start at shooting guard. It could be Mychel Thompson.

But through the first two weeks of camp, the Knicks have not had their full team together on the floor.

Iman Shumpert and Ronnie Brewer continue their rehab from knee surgeries. Marcus Camby remains out with a strained calf. Rasheed Wallace hasn’t scrimmaged with the team yet. He’s working himself back in shape after retiring two years ago.

In other injury news, James White, who missed the last couple of practices with a hamstring issue, is here and shot around. Woodson said he would see if White will be available tonight. And Chris Smith is scheduled to have surgery on his left knee today. He’ll miss 3-6 months


Brewer, who likely will be the Knicks’ starting shooting guard when he’s able to play, had his left knee scoped Sept. 7 to repair a torn medial meniscus. About 10 days ago, Brewer said he was 2 ½-3 weeks away from practicing. Woodson said more would be known about Brewer next week.

“He’s still coming along nicely,” he said. “I don’t know when he’ll be back on the floor. He’s on the bike. He’s doing a little running. He’s not doing much running right now. He’s doing some drill work on the floor. But we’ll have a better feel on him next week.

“We’re not going to rush him back,” Woodson added. “But if he tells me in a week he’s ready to go then we’ll gradually bring him along slowly and see where he fits in.”