The New York Knicks received the bad news that forward Amar’e Stoudemire will miss up to six weeks after undergoing knee surgery. Stoudemire will have tissue removed from his right knee in a procedure called debridement.
New York is accustomed to playing without Stoudemire. The former All-Star had the same surgery done to his left knee during the preseason and missed the first thirty games of the 2012-13 season. He returned to the team in December and has been relegated to a bench role.
In 29 games Stoudemire averaged 14.2 points per game off the bench for the Knicks and shot 57% from the floor. Stoudemire is having his worst season since his rookie year sans the 05-06 season where he played in only three games for the Phoenix Suns.
Stoudemire has a history of knee issues undergoing microfracture surgery on both knees early in his career. He signed a $100 million dollar deal with the Knicks in 2010 that was uninsurable due to his history of knee issues. Stoudemire is owed around $45 million dollars on the remaining two years of his contract making him the highest paid bench player in the NBA.
The loss of Stoudemire wouldn’t sting so badly if Carmelo Anthony hadn’t recently gone down with a stiff right knee and Rasheed Wallace with a fractured left foot. New York leads the Atlantic Division by 2.5 games over the Brooklyn Nets. The Knicks are also tied for the second seed in the Eastern Conference with the Indiana Pacers. New York’s standing in the East is now in major jeopardy. Thirteen of New York’s remaining 22 games will be played away from Madison Square Garden and fourteen of those games are against playoff teams.
"It's a loss, a major loss, to what we're trying to do, but you know we're going to have to wait on him and continue our climb," Knicks Head Coach Mike Woodson said. "We can't sit and sulk and feel sad and upset about it. It's what it is and guys have got to step up and play."