Amare Stoudemire says he'll be fine

Updated: January 31, 2011, 9:20 AM ET
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Amare Stoudemire walked into the Knicks' locker room about 40 minutes after his team's 124-106 win over the Pistons on Sunday night with a noticeable limp. His surgically-repaired left knee and right ankle were wrapped in ice.

It was a scene that would likely make team president Donnie Walsh wince, but Stoudemire insisted that there was no reason to worry.

"I'll be all right," said Stoudemire, who finished with 33 points on 11-of-19 shooting against Detroit. "I feel pretty good. I'll be ready to go. No worries."

With just under ten minutes to play in the fourth quarter, Stoudemire drove to his left while being closely guarded by Chris Wilcox. Ben Gordon made a swipe at the ball, banging Stoudemire's left knee in the process.

Stoudemire collapsed to the floor immediately. He slowly jogged back to the other end to play defense, moving with a pronounced limp. He grabbed at his knee after the next possession and appeared to be in pain but remained in the game.

"We banged knees. I think it was Ben Gordon and I," Stoudemire said. "I think he reached in and we just banged knees."

The Knicks are off on Monday and will return to practice on Tuesday. They play the Dallas Mavericks at home on Wednesday.

Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said Stoudemire will "go light" on Tuesday and predicted that the All-Star forward would be "ready to go" for the Mavericks game.

"We'll keep working with him but he'll get his 'bangs,'" the coach said. "That's the position he plays and as hard as he goes to the basket, that's going to happen."

Stoudemire was listed as questionable prior to tip-off on Sunday due to a sprained right knee he suffered in the third quarter of the Knicks' loss to the Hawks on Friday night. He decided about an hour before the game that he was healthy enough to play.

Any ailment involving Stoudemire's knees will be dealt with cautiously by the team due to the All-Star forward's history of knee trouble.

Stoudemire underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee in late 2005. He had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in April 2006. The Knicks have shown prudence with their $100 million man's knees, asking him to sit out of the World Championships in Turkey last summer. Before the game against Detroit, D'Antoni said he was not concerned about Stoudemire re-injuring either knee.

"To be able to avoid injury or something that might happen is an impossibility. I don't worry about it, I don't think he worries about it," D'Antoni said. "At age 27, I don't see any reason why he can't have a great career here and sign another contract and go on and play as long as he wants to."

Another cause for concern for the Knicks is forward Wilson Chandler. Chandler missed his second straight game on Sunday night due to a left calf injury.

D'Antoni said prior to Sunday's game that he hopes Chandler will be healthy enough to play Wednesday against the Mavericks.

"He's got something back there and the trainers think that it's still there," D'Antoni said. "They want [to alleviate the pain] completely. There's no use risking a day to lose two weeks. ... When he's 100 percent he'll play."

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

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