After missing 13 games with a bulging disk in his back, Amare Stoudemire is expected to make his return to the New York Knicks tonight, facing the Cleveland Cavaliers. But according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, he will play restricted minutes at first.
A source tells Berman that the All-Star power forward will "have his minutes capped and use the game to start getting back into game shape." The Knicks have just four games left in the regular season and will begin the playoffs in about a week.
The Knicks clinched a playoff berth last night when the ninth-place Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Indiana Pacers. It appears likely that New York will lock up the No. 7 seed in the East, which means a first-round matchup with the No. 2 Miami Heat. Stoudemire has averaged 17.6 points and 8.0 rebounds per game this season despite battling injuries. He has started 43 of the Knicks' 62 games thus far.