GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Amar'e Stoudemire will join the Knicks on their Christmas week trip to the West Coast, but he might not join the rotation until 2013.
Mike Woodson said he and Stoudemire spoke "in great detail" Saturday morning about when he will make his season debut. Woodson said Stoudemire hasn't had any setbacks but isn't ready to return from left knee surgery in October.
Woodson said he would like to put Stoudemire through some practices before he plays. The Knicks aren't expected to hold any until Dec. 30, so Woodson said he doesn't "foresee" Stoudemire playing on the upcoming three-game trip.
"It's still kind of like day-to-day until he's comfortable and ready to go, and he's not there yet," Woodson said. "At this point right now, we're still trying to hash out when he's ready to play, and he's not ready yet. He's still day-to-day. We'll continue the journey until he lets us know and the doctors let us know he's ready to go."
Stoudemire had a debridement to remove loose and dead fragments in his knee on Halloween. He practiced and scrimmaged twice with the Knicks' D-League team this past week. Stoudemire did strength and conditioning work on his own before that.
He said after Thursday's workout that he wants to wait until he's 100 percent. But the schedule and the fact that the Knicks are down a few bodies, including Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby, doesn't allow many chances for practice.
The Knicks, losers of two of their last three at home, will host Minnesota at 5 p.m. Sunday. After the game, they will fly to Los Angeles for their Christmas Day contest against the Lakers. The Knicks play Phoenix the next night and close out the trip in Sacramento on Friday. Their next game after that is Jan. 1 against Portland, giving the Knicks two days to practice before then.
"We've got some practice time coming our way after we come back off this West Coast swing," Woodson said. "We'll gauge it between now and then and see where he is and make some decisions then."
When asked specifically about the trip, Woodson said, "Again, it's day-to-day, but I don't foresee that. We'll have to gauge it and see."
The Knicks' fast start has kept the pressure off Stoudemire to return. He's going at his pace, making sure he doesn't force the issue and cause more damage. The Knicks want their key players healthy for later in the season and the playoffs.
For Stoudemire to get more comfortable, Woodson could have him play some three-on-threes. But Woodson doesn't want to tax some of the guys he could need for the next game.
"It's just too much to put on them in that setting and get ready for the next game," Woodson said. "We've got some practice time coming our way. January should be a little bit better for us in terms of getting back to practice and playing our games as well, because we desperately need it."
Notes & quotes: The Knicks said Wallace has an acute stress reaction and chronic condition in his left foot. Wallace missed the last four games with what the Knicks called a sore foot. They still are listing him as day-to-day . . . Minnesota will be without All-Star power forward Kevin Love because of an eye injury . . . The NBA rescinded Carmelo Anthony's second technical foul that got him ejected with 6:45 left in Friday night's loss to Chicago. Woodson also was tossed, and said he needs to improve in controlling his emotions. "I've got to do better myself," he said. "I can't be getting thrown out of games."