Adam ZagoriaAmar’e Stoudemire confirmed that he had “minor” offseason knee surgery and said repeatedly he’s trying to “prolong” his career going forward by limiting his playing time during the regular season.
“The whole objective is to prolong my career, my season, to make sure I’m ready for the postseason when the ball really counts,” he said Monday at Knicks’ Media Day. “And that’s the whole goal. Right now, unfortunately my career has been somewhat detained with injuries throughout the last few years of my career. So now it’s just a matter of trying to maintain strength and health, to have some solid and very productive years.”
Stoudemire, 30, said he hasn’t done any basketball activity so far this year and said he expected to play “20-25 minutes” per game, similar to last year when he was on a minutes-restriction.
“The whole goal is to get a strong recovery so hopefully by the time training camp’s over I should be ready to go,” he said. “If not, we’ll see. We’re still taking precautionary measures, we’ll see how it plays out.”
Stoudemire had issues with both knees last season — undergoing debridement on his right knee in October and his left knee in March — and played just 29 games. He averaged 14.2 points a year ago and is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $100-million deal.
Asked about the procedure, which he reportedly had in July, he said: “It was very minor, nothing to be too concerned about at all. Extremely minor.”
Knicks coach Mike Woodson now has Metta World Peace and Andrea Bargnani to work into the frontcourt rotation along with Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin and said he plans to play Stoudemire accordingly as he recovers.
“We’re ‘not going to rush him,” Woodson said. “Amar’e’s been a big piece to our puzzle and that won’t change. We gotta rehab him back and get him ready to go. We’ll use vet camp to do that and see how he comes along.”
Adam Zagoria covers the New York Knicks and Big East hoops for NBA.com and SNY.tv. He also appears as a Big East Basketball Insider on SNY and 1050 ESPN Radio. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.