Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
The Knicks will have to go at least 2-4 weeks without Amar’e Stoudemire.
The team on Wednesday announced that Stoudemire will return to New York from Miami “today after seeking a second opinion on a bulging disc of his lower back. Both doctors have agreed that he should undergo non-surgical treatment and rehabilitation, that will include an epidural. He is expected to be out for approximately 2-4 weeks.”
That would put Stoudemire out until mid- to late-April.
The regular season ends April 26 at Charlotte.
“We really don’t know what his condition is but I just feel bad for him because I know how passionate he is,” Tyson Chandler said following Monday’s win over Milwaukee. “We just have to keep plugging along.”
The Knicks announced Monday that Stoudemire would be out “indefinitely” with a bulging disc in his back.
That same night, Carmelo Anthony tweaked his groin during the second half.
He is listed as questionable for tonight’s game against Orlando at Madison Square Garden but told ESPN1050 he would “for sure” play in the game.
Jeremy Lin (knee) is also listed as questionable and the Knicks remain without Jared Jeffries (knee) and Bill Walker (elbow).
Anthony said Monday the team would have to prepare for playing the rest of the regular season without Stoudemire.
“We got 16 games left to get ready for the playoffs,” Anthony said. “We want guys healthy. If Amar’e and Lin gotta sit out the whole 16 games to get ready for the playoffs to get healthy then we’ll take that.
“Our mindset is to get in the playoffs.”
Stoudemire was finally playing well recently. He struggled for the first half of this season, having not been able to play much during the offseason after injuring his back warming up for Game 2 of what became a first-round sweep against the Boston Celtics.
He seemed back on track since interim coach Mike Woodson replaced Mike D’Antoni. Stoudemire has led the Knicks in scoring four straight games and had 17 points in 7-of-10 shooting in 26 minutes Saturday against the Pistons.
With 16 games remaining in the regular season, the Knicks are currently 2 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee for the eighth spot in the East but want to move up to at least No. 6 so they can avoid Chicago and Miami in the first round.
“The test is here,” Anthony said. “It is right in front of us.”
(The AP contributed)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.