Since the New York Knicks advanced to the second round of the NBA Playoffs, there has been speculation that forward Amar'e Stoudemire would return for Game 3. After sitting out the first two contests against the Indiana Pacers, Stoudemire is set to return tomorrow, as coach Mike Woodson told reporters -- including Marc Berman of The New York Post -- that he's going to play the big man between 10 and 15 minutes.
Earlier this season, Stoudemire came back from the same knee debridement surgery he's attempting to return from now. At that point, it took the forward several games to regain his timing. He's hoping to shorten that span now, as he knows he can't afford to be rusty in the playoffs.
“I expect to contribute the best I can,’’ Stoudemire said today. “I don’t have time to find my rhythm. I have to be ready from the start. That’s what it’s going to be.’’
Woodson believes he pushed Stoudemire too hard when he came back from his first knee procedure. This time, with so much on the line, the coach is more willing to ease Stoudemire back in, considering the Knicks have experienced success even in his absence.