Knicks F Amar’e Stoudemire unlikely for first round

New York Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire was hopeful that he’d be able to return in time to rejoin his teammates for the first round of the NBA Playoffs. However, coach Mike Woodson told reporters – including Ian Begley of ESPN New York – that Stoudemire has been all but ruled out for the Knicks opening-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics.

"I think he's going to be out,'' Woodson said Thursday. "That's my gut."

Stoudemire has returned to the practice court, but he’s yet to start running again. He underwent surgery on March 11 to clear up debris in his right knee.

When the procedure initially took place, the Knicks said Stoudemire was expected to miss four to six weeks. Given this time frame for return, the forward would have been back for the start of the second-round, at the earliest.

Stoudemire is still not offering an exact target date for his return, as there are still several steps remaining in his rehab. All he would tell reporters is that he’ll “be out there soon,” adding that he’s “doing everything I can to get back out there and be extremely strong and healthy.”

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