Amar’e Stoudemire is expected to be out approximately six weeks due to a knee debridement procedure he will have this week, the Knicks announced on Saturday.
Stoudemire was initially listed as a game-time decision for Saturday’s game against the Jazz after reporting soreness in both knees, but an MRI later in the day revealed the need for surgery, reports Ian Begley of ESPN New York.
Stoudemire missed the first two months of the season with a similar procedure, and required eight weeks to recover. If he was able to get back within six weeks from this one, that would be just in time for the Knicks’ run into the postseason.
But obviously, that’s a best-case scenario.
Even if Stoudemire was back on the court exactly six weeks from now, he’d likely need a few games at minimum to get back into shape, and then a few more after that to get back to playing at the level he had been recently.
Stoudemire was under a 30-minute per game limit, and was right up against that number in New York’s last three games, playing 29, 31, and 32 minutes in a loss to Oklahoma City, and wins against Detroit and Cleveland.
In five games in March, Stoudemire has averaged 16.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and a blocked shot per game, but had scored 22 points in two of his last three.
Stoudemire’s loss is big for the Knicks in terms of where they’ll land in the Eastern Conference standings at the end of the season. New York currently sits at third, a half game behind the Pacers for second, but just two and a half games ahead of Brooklyn who sits at four, with the next three teams not more than a game and a half beyond that.
Carmelo Anthony is also dealing with a knee injury, which will keep him sidelined for the third straight game on Saturday.