New York, NY
Forward Amar'e Stoudemire will play 10 to 15 minutes in Game 3 of New York Knicks' Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Indiana Pacers.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson laid out the plan Thursday after Stoudemire, hasn't played since March 7, did not experience any setbacks during his recovery from right knee debridement.
Woodson said they are taking caution feeling they may have pushed Stoudemire's previous return too early, that time from left knee debridement.
He returned to full contact scrimmaging for the second time this week on four-on-four play and continued to look quick and explosive with his low-post moves. He was also able to take strong contact down low and finish around the rim.
On Monday, he did three-on-three plays against his teammates.
Stoudemire said he now feels similar to when he returned on New Year's Day from the left knee debridement and was able to play continouosly for about two and a half months.
And he is ready for the challenge facing Indiana's skilled frontcourt, featuring Roy Hibbert, David West and Tyler Hansbrough.
"I've been playing against these guys my whole career," Stoudemire said. "They know me and I know them, so it's going to be a battle regardless of who's out there on the court."
"We're playing against a good team, big lineups," said Knicks center Tyson Chandler who can't wait to have Stoudemire back. "He'll give us a scoring presence on the block, so we could really use him right now."
Amar'e Stoudemire on returning for the Knicks' playoff run
Amar'e Stoudemire to Beef up Knicks Frontline vs Pacers in Game 3
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