Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire will 'absolutely' play when healthy

New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire underwent knee surgery on March 11. His goal was initially to return for the start of the playoffs, but he's been ruled out for the first round. Now he's setting his sights on Round 2, and coach Mike Woodson told reporters -- including Al Iannazzone of Newsday -- that Stoudemire will "absolutely" play for the Knicks when he's healthy.

There has been talk that the Knicks could be worried about a disruption to team chemistry when Stoudemire returns. New York has won 19 of its last 21 games, and all of these victories have come with Stoudemire watching from the sidelines.

But Woodson was quick to dismiss this notion, as he said that this isn't a concern "at all." He told reporters that they could worry about the proposed disruption, adding that Stoudemire is "a big piece to our puzzle."

Knicks big man Tyson Chandler agrees with Woodson, noting that the team's veteran leadership and coaching staff wouldn't allow a disruption. He also said that Stoudemire is "eager to play," and he believes the forward is "only going to help the team when he does come back."

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