From NBA.com staff reports
We mentioned it in this space yesterday how the Knicks are among several teams facing a mountain of uncertainty as the season opener nears. Not only is New York fighting to move up a few notches in the Eastern Conference pecking order, but they’re also fighting to keep their new in-state NBA brethren, the Nets, from supplanting them as New York’s premiere team.
That mountain the Knicks have to climb, both in the league and in their own state, just got a whole heckuva lot higher. All-Star big man Amar’e Stoudemire is reportedly going to be out at least six weeks — not the expected three weeks — after he re-injured his left knee in a preseason game against Toronto on Oct. 19. Chris Broussard over at ESPN.com has the details on Stoudemire:
New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire will miss at least the first six weeks of the season after re-injuring his surgically repaired left knee, according to league sources.
The news comes as a blow to the Knicks, who initially expected Stoudemire to return within two to three weeks after he ruptured a popliteal cyst behind the knee during the Knicks’ exhibition game against Toronto on Oct. 19.
But after Stoudemire received a second opinion over the weekend from Dr. Thomas Carter, the Phoenix Suns team doctor, it was determined he would need more time to heal. Carter performed microfracture surgery on Stoudemire’s left knee in 2005.
It is not clear whether Stoudemire will use the extra time off to have a procedure or for rest and rehab. Stoudemire may be out between 6-8 weeks, according to two of the sources.
The Knicks, who open the season Thursday at Brooklyn, are expected to make an official announcement on Tuesday.
With Tyson Chandler reeling from a collision with Gerald Wallace in the preseason, Knicks fans will have to hope that the veteran frontcourt combination of Rasheed Wallace, Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas (among others) have enough energy left to do a yeoman’s job in the post while Stoudemire and Chandler heal up. Carmelo Anthony is there to pick up the scoring slack and has the stage set to start off with a monstrous scoring outburst, but is that best for New York’s long-term plan? No matter how it shakes out, the start of the season for the Knicks just got a whole lot tougher.