Amar'e Stoudemire walked off the court after shootaround and gave another indication that he's getting closer to returning from left knee surgery.

"Soon, guys," Stoudemire said. "Soon."

The prognosis after Stoudemire had a debridement Oct. 31 was that he would miss six to eight weeks. That window is now here, although Mike Woodson said Stoudemire hasn't been cleared to practice yet.

Stoudemire has been running, shooting and working on strengthening the knee. He had a lengthy pregame workout Tuesday that featured several spin moves in the post and dunks. But Stoudemire has said he's going to need some practices to test the knee.

The Knicks are home until Dec. 23 and play every other day in that time, so there should be chances for Stoudemire to practice.

"We got to get some practice time under our belt for him before he actually decides what he wants to do," Woodson said. "At this point, it's still in the doctors' hands and Amar'e's hands."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

When Stoudemire plays and whether he will be a full-time starter or sixth man still remain major questions.

"I'll address that when that time comes," Woodson said. "Amar'e is still in the mode of trying to get ready to get back out on the floor, but he's not there yet."

Stoudemire said it's possible he could announce his return on Twitter or his website, as he did last season when he returned from a back injury. He has been reluctant to speak with the media.

Rasheed back

Rasheed Wallace was back after missing Sunday's game with a sore left foot. Wallace said he aggravated an old injury Saturday in Chicago.

Wallace also said playing at Barclays Center is almost like a home game because the Knicks get to shoot at their facility.

"For the most part it is, except for that long ---- bus ride over there," Wallace said. "Other than that, it's cool."

No Nash

The Lakers visit the Garden on Thursday with coach Mike D'Antoni but without a player the Knicks coveted in free agency: Steve Nash. Nash told USA Today he could miss "at least another two weeks" because of his left fractured fibula.

So Nash also might not play in the Christmas Day game in Los Angeles.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

3 times 1,000

J.R. Smith is just one three short of becoming the 69th player with at least 1,000 in his career. Two current Knicks are on the list: Jason Kidd (1,912, No. 3) and Wallace (1,084, No. 54).