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Amar’e Stoudemire cleared for contact, Woodson hopes he’ll be ready for Knicks season opener

Oct 19, 2013, 9:30 PM EDT

source: AP

This must be what coaches mean when listing a player’s status as “day-to-day.”

On Friday, Amar’e Stoudemire had not yet been cleared for contact. On Saturday, he was cleared, and practiced with the Knicks in half-court situations.

From Ian Begley of ESPN New York:

Stoudemire was cleared for contact and participated in half-court drills Saturday. It was the first contact for Stoudemire since he underwent surgery on his knee over the summer. …

The Knicks and Stoudemire are hopeful he can play in the season opener on Oct. 30, but there are no guarantees at this point.

“If there’s no setbacks we hope he’ll be there for opening night,” [Knicks head coach Mike Woodson] said. “We’ll have some practice time prior to us opening and we’ll scrimmage a lot more and try to hopefully tailor some minutes in the scrimmage that will carry over into the regular season. It’s a day at a time.”

Stoudemire said he felt “explosive” during the practice session, but didn’t seem as though getting back by opening night was exactly a priority.

“The health is more important, to make sure I’m healthy,” Stoudemire said. “The real season obviously starts in the playoffs.”

Stoudemire will be tough to count on for the Knicks this season. He’ll likely be under a minutes restriction, and it’s far from guaranteed that his knees will hold up without incident after he’s had to undergo medical procedures on them three times in the past 12 months.

If the common line of thinking is true, that anything Stoudemire can give the Knicks this season is a bonus, then perhaps the team should lean more towards ensuring his readiness for the playoffs rather than trying to force him back into the rotation as soon as possible.

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