The Knicks held workouts today at their Greenburgh, N.Y. facilities with keen eyes on their cornerstone players, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.
Following this morning’s practice, head coach Mike Woodson declared them both as questionable, although reading between the lines, it actually sounded like Stoudemire was closer to returning than Anthony.
Stoudemire hasn’t played a game yet this season due to a knee debridement procedure in October, but sounded far more confident about playing tomorrow against the Portland Trail Blazers than he did following yesterday’s workout.
Since the Knicks’ medical staff cleared Stoudemire nearly two weeks ago for contact scrimmages with the franchise’s D-League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, he was told there’d be no risk of further injuring his knee.
The power forward sighed relief following today’s session and said he feels he’s “ready to go” following what Woodson deemed was a good practice for Stoudemire and the other nine guys on the practice floor.
Following his workout, Stoudemire said he still felt “some soreness'” when he tried to perform certain moves, but added he feels he’s up to performing any task that Woodson needs should he be able to play tomorrow.
“I don’t want to have that feeling [soreness], because that forces me to overcompensate,” Stoudemire said, adding he thinks he’s close to 100 percent but doesn’t want to rush back if he has a setback tomorrow morning. “I don’t want to have that problem because that has a risk of injury when you overcompensate.”
Woodson said while Stoudemire looked good, he’ll leave it totally up to the player, because “players know best how their bodies feel.” Woodson added that Stoudemire would probably back out if the knee reacts differently than expected after a night’s rest.
That’s the way Woodson has handled every injury this year, by ultimately leaving it up to the player. It’s why the coach said he’d leave it up to Anthony to see how he feels tomorrow morning after putting his hyperextended left knee through practice today.
Anthony didn’t sound as confident as Stoudemire when asked if he thought his knee would feel better by game time tomorrow.
“Well, I have more than 24 hours to feel better, so we’ll see,” Anthony said. “But I probably won’t know until about game time. … Because as of right now, I’m just not getting the usual lift on my jumper.”
The Knicks only practiced 10 players today, as Jason Kidd (recovery day) and Tyson Chandler (ankle) sat out. Both are listed as probable and will most certainly play. Rasheed Wallace (foot) is also listed as questionable, so if the Knicks don’t have the services of Anthony, Stoudemire, and Wallace, that thin frontcourt rotation gets even thinner — not a good sign against a Portland team that has some active bigs.