The New York Knicks plan to have Amar'e Stoudemire come off the bench when he returns to action, ESPN.com reported, based on information from league sources.
Stoudemire could return on Tuesday against the Portland Trail Blazers, and although the team would prefer that he come off the bench, he could be a starter because of injuries to other players.
Carmelo Anthony, who has been starting at the power forward spot this season, missed his second consecutive game on Friday because of a knee injury, and point guard Raymond Felton is out four to six weeks with a fractured right pinky finger.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson is seriously considering having Stoudemire come off the bench for the rest of the season if the situation allows, according to the report.
Stoudemire is a power forward, and the Knicks have played well with Anthony starting at power forward spot rather than at the small forward spot.
The Knicks entered Friday's action with a 20-8 record, and Woodson does not want to disrupt the chemistry by inserting Stoudemire into the starting lineup.
Stoudemire hasn't played since a preseason game Oct. 19 because of a knee problem.