Earlier this week New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire was cleared to begin practice, but his practice squad won’t be the one you would typically think.
The Knicks are sending Stoudemire to the D-League to allow him to get in more work than he would with the NBA squad. Here are details:
“He’s been cleared and we’re going to let him practice with the D-League team,” Woodson said. “And we’ll evaluate tomorrow after practice come Wednesday and see where he is and see how he feels.”
If practice goes well for Stoudemire, there’s a possibility that he could play Friday against Chicago or Sunday against Minnesota.
“The practices have got to go kind of in his favor,” Woodson said. “I don’t want him coming to me after tomorrow’s practice and saying, ‘Well coach, I’m hurt and sore.’ Then we’ve got to evaluate it and still take it a day at a time. I’m not going to rush him back. He’s got to be ready. And we’ll lean on him to tell me when he’s ready to go.”
The Knicks currently have the Eastern Conference’s best record at 18-6 without Stoudemire and there are questions whether or not the big man will fit into the Knicks’ gameplan once he returns. Stoudemire signed a five-year, $100 million free agent contract with New York in 2010, making him difficult to trade considering his injury concerns.
Stoudemire averaged 17.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game with the Knicks last season after putting up 25 and 8 the year prior before Carmelo Anthony was brought in via trade. Stoudemire is still owed approximately $45 million over the final two years of his contract after this season.
Duncan Steel | Elite., Photo Credit: Getty Images