According to several sources close to New York Knicks power forward Amar’e Stoudemire, the all-star is aiming for a return to the team’s lineup on December 25 after missing the entire season thus far due to a ruptured cyst on the back of his surgically-repaired left knee.
This information has been passed along to several news publications, including the New York Post as well as ESPN.com.
The Knicks have a huge Christmas day road showdown this year versus their former head coach Mike D’Antoni and his new team, the Los Angeles Lakers, at the Staples Center. If Stoudemire does in fact successfully return to the Knicks lineup on Christmas Day, he may not be returning to the team’s starting rotation but their bench instead. According to sources close to the power forward, Stoudemire has already stated that he would not have a problem coming off of the bench if that was in fact what was best for the team, in light of the terrific start which the Knicks has gotten off to in his absence.
On Friday, Stoudemire was involved in some running and light drills during the Knicks shootaround prior to their 108-87 victory over the Washington Wizards. Knicks head coach Mike Woodson had the following to say regarding Stoudemire after the shootaround, “We’re going to accept Amar’e back when he’s ready to go, and when that is, I don’t know. I really don’t. That’s a great sign he’s out running and he’s shooting a little bit. We’re just going to gauge it as he goes along, and doctors and Amar’e will tell us when he’s ready.”