After undergoing preseason knee surgery, New York Knicks All-Star forward Amar'e Stoudemire will make his season debut on Tuesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.
Whether or not Carmelo Anthony returns from his hyper-extended knee on Tuesday, the plan remains for Stoudemire to come off the Knicks' bench. Anthony told reporters that he will test his knee in pre-game on Tuesday and then make a determination on returning to the lineup.
Stoudemire, 30, has been one of the NBA's elite power forwards and had come into training camp believing he had worked himself into the best shape of his professional career. Nevertheless, Stoudemire suffered a knee injury in October, underwent surgery on Oct. 21 and has been rehabbing the injury most recently in practices with the Knicks' D-League franchise in Erie and finally with the Knicks.
"We need him," Anthony told Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears on Friday. "I know we are playing well, but the more bodies, the better, especially at this point where guys are doing well. …We are ready for him."
The Knicks are 21-9, leaders in the Atlantic Division and a half-game behind the Miami Heat for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
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