Feb. 19, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks power forward Amare Stoudemire (1) drives around Dallas Mavericks center Brendan Haywood (33) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 104-97. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Amar'e Stoudemire Only 80 Percent, Targets Tuesday Return

It has been rumored that New York Knicks’ forward Amar’e Stoudemire will make his season debut Tuesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Dec. 13, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks power forward Amar

Stoudemire practiced with the banged-up Knicks for the first time since undergoing knee surgery on Oct. 31. The All-Star forward admittedly is still not at full strength, but he has not ruled out making his season debut when the calendar turns to 2013.

“I’m not 80 (percent), yet. So I’m still working to get to that point. But I am improving, I feel the improvement, I feel stronger by the day. Today was the most I’ve done since the injury, so we’ll see how it feels (Monday),” Stoudemire told Peter Botte of the New York Daily News. “We’re not quite there yet, but we’re pretty banged up as a team. We need bodies on the court right now, so if I have to sacrifice my health a little bit for the betterment of the team, then I will.”

“I know a lot of our guys have been pretty banged up; it’s been a long season so far. So again, if it’s needed for me to sacrifice my body for the betterment of the team, I will. Hopefully I can continue to improve the next two days and that way I can feel 100 percent when I get back out there.”

With the Knicks banged up in the fashion that they are, they could really use STAT’s services, but does it make sense to run him out there if he isn’t 100 percent?

Given Stoudemire’s history, he could re-injure himself in a hurry, which would put the Knicks in a bind.

However you also have to consider that Stoudemire may never be 100 percent again in his career and if he can contribute, even on a limited basis, the Knicks need him. That’s especially true with the likes of Carmelo Anthony (knee), Raymond Felton (finger) and Rasheed Wallace (foot) all out of the lineup at the moment.

Will Stoudemire play on Tuesday? Right now your guess is as good as anyone else’s, but it is looking like a possibility.

“I have to at least (get) to the point I feel comfortable out there on the basketball court, with no restrictions, no limitations,” Stoudemire also told Botte. “I want to get to that point. Right now I’m not quite there yet. I want to feel comfortable with all the movements on the basketball court and I’m still working towards doing that.”

“I can do pretty much anything, but it just feels sore when I make certain moves. I don’t want to have that feeling, because it forces me to overcompensate and I don’t want to have that problem, because that’s a risk of injury when you overcompensate.”

Last season Jeremy Lin wouldn’t give it a go when he was said to be at 85 percent.

It doesn’t look like Stoudemire will have the same problems taking the floor with his teammates.

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