Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire expects to play in Game 3

New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire participated in 3-on-3 scrimmage drills during practice yesterday. After the session, he told reporters – including Howard Beck of The New York Times – that he expects to play in Game 3 of the Knicks’ series against the Indiana Pacers barring any significant setbacks this week.

Stoudemire went on to say that he is experiencing no pain while “playing, running, jumping, cutting, slashing,” adding that he “felt explosive” during practice. The only thing standing in Stoudemire’s way of returning at this point appears to be his cardio. He hopes to get in better shape in the coming days, noting that “once my cardio gets to where I want it and my healthy feels great and 100 percent, then I’m back out there.”

The Knicks have been without Stoudemire since March, when the forward underwent surgery to clear debris from his knee. He only played in 29 games during the regular season, but New York more than handled its own in his absence.

Carmelo Anthony has seen significant time at power forward with Stoudemire sidelined, but the Knicks could certainly benefit from regaining his presence in the back court against the Pacers. New York will hope to add Stoudemire to a rotation of bigs that already includes Kenyon Martin and Tyson Chandler.

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