Amar'e Stoudemire says return for Knicks' season opener possible
New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire said Tuesday that it's "possible" he will be ready for the team's regular season opener on Oct. 30, according to a tweet from Newsday reporter Al Iannazzone.
Stoudemire made the comment a day after the Knicks announced that he and guard J.R. Smith will sit out the first three games of the preseason, which begins on Wednesday with a matchup against the Boston Celtics at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, RI.
Both players had knee surgery this offseason --Stoudemire has yet to participate in running drills with the team -- but head coach Mike Woodson may play Stoudemire on Oct. 17 in a game against the Wizards. If he returned in Washington, it would give the 30-year-old four preseason games before the regular season opener against the Milwaukee Bucks.
When Stoudemire does return, the Knicks will keep him on a strict minutes limit to begin the season in order to keep him healthy for a chance at playing more during a possible playoff run. The six-time All-Star has battled chronic knee injuries throughout his career and has undergone multiple surgeries.
In July 2010, he signed a five-year contract with the Knicks for approximately $99 million. In 29 appearances last season for the Knicks, he averaged 14.2 points and 5.0 rebounds in 23 minutes per game.