From Matt’s excellent bit of reporting from Knicks’ practice yesterday, we unearthed this little gem from Amar’e Stoudemire about his pending return and the possibility of him playing on New Year’s Day:
Stoudemire classified himself as less than 80 percent but, with all the injuries the Knicks (21-9) are dealing with following their 1-2 West Coast road swing, he talked about maybe trying to come back before he felt 100 percent.
“Were are pretty banged up as a team, we need bodies on the court right now, so if I gotta sacrifice my health a little bit for the betterment of the team then I will,” he said.
Now, what am I missing here? Stoudemire’s stance is admirable, but also kind of insane. Sure, with Carmelo still nursing a sore knee, the Knicks could use STAT’s assortment of skills more than ever, but that still doesn’t appear to justify him rushing back from injury, particularly if there’s even a remote chance that he would need to “sacrifice” his health. The Knicks’ fast start has given them something of a luxury of remaining patient with Stoudemire. Naturally, no team wants to lose games, particularly ones they feel an able Amar’e would allow them to win, but if holding him out another week or two would ensure a fully healthy player returns to the court, doesn’t that seem like the logical move here?
Perhaps the idea is that the remaining 20% can only be gained from actual playing time in actual NBA games, and I could see the sense in that, but if there’s any risk to Stoudemire’s “health” I really don’t understand the urge to rush the big fella back, I’d prefer to see his knees softly rubbed with goat’s milk until they are springy and robust. So I say rest up, fine friend. We’ll be here when you’re ready.
I was pretty surprised by two things during the time Amar’e spoke to us after practice. One was just how cautious he was about his knee and where he felt he was physically. I mean people thought he was going to be back by Christmas and then you hear he is only at “80%” at best and I was like, wow, that isn’t what I expected to hear.
Then, all of a sudden, a guy who has been dealing with injuries on and off almost his entire career, is talking about “sacrificing his health” so he can be another body for the team right now?
That is a statement that as a fan you really have two reactions. “What a team guy, he is gonna gut it out for his teammates” and “No, Amar’e you aren’t ready yet, we need you at 100%”
I’m in total agreement with Brian on this situation. Amar’e can’t come back early from an injury considering his injury history. I don’t care if the Knicks have to ask fans from the stands to play in the game, he just cant rush back from a knee injury.
The Knicks have been very cautious all season when it has come to injuries this season and that is not a bad thing at all. For Amar’e to classify himself as ready to sacrifice his health is an honorable thing to do, but it is also not the smart thing to do.