A left hand laceration will force Amare Stoudemire to sit out Game 3 of the New York Knicks-Miami Heat first-round playoff series, the team announced on Tuesday evening. He is listed as doubtful for Game 4, scheduled for Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks say Stoudemire will be reassessed for the remainder of the series. A team source said there is a possibility that Stoudemire could miss the rest of the series, regardless of how long it goes. The Knicks trail the Heat, 2-0, in the best-of-seven series.
Stoudemire suffered the laceration after punching a glass case containing a fire extinguisher Monday moments after the Knicks' 104-94 loss to the Heat.
Stoudemire saw a hand specialist at the Hospital of Special Surgery on Tuesday and the surgeon repaired a "small muscle" in his hand, according to the team. According to a source with knowledge of the injury, Stoudemire suffered no ligament or tendon damage.
The power forward punched the case while heading to the Knicks' locker room moments after the Knicks lost to fall behind 2-0 in the best-of-seven series. He was treated by paramedics and team doctors from both the Knicks and the Heat and was seen leaving the arena with his left forearm and hand heavily bandaged and his arm being supported by a sling.
He suffered the laceration on the inside of his palm, on the side of his hand closest to the pinkie. He needed an undisclosed number of stitches on the cut.
"He didn't haul off and punch the glass, he hit it out of frustration," a person who witnessed Stoudemire hitting the glass surrounding the fire extinguisher told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard. "He kind of slapped it, but with a closed fist. He said he thought it was plastic instead of glass.
"Half of his hand was just hanging off. It was really bad. Blood was just squirting out. That's why they had the paramedics come in, because they thought he might have punctured an artery because of how much blood was coming out."
Stoudemire's frustration may have stemmed from his shot attempts -- nine -- in Monday's game, according to the source. He scored 18 points and had seven rebounds.
Stoudemire addressed the incident via his Twitter account.
"I am so mad at myself right now," read a post on Stoudemire's verified account. "I want to apologize to the fans and my team, not proud of my actions. headed home for a new start."
A later post read: "We all have done thing out of anger that we regret. That makes us human. Bad timing on my part. Sorry guys. This to shall pass."
Stoudemire has had a difficult season. He struggled with his shot early in the season, the result of not playing basketball during the lockout while rehabbing a back injury. Stoudemire's brother died in a car crash in February, and he suffered a bulging disk in his lower back, which sidelined him for four weeks.
This most recent injury comes at a difficult time for the Knicks. The team lost Iman Shumpert, its top perimeter defender, to a torn left ACL and lateral meniscus in Game 1. Center Tyson Chandler has been slowed by flu-like symptoms, which limited him to 21 minutes in Game 1. He was severely compromised by the illness on Saturday. His condition improved in Game 2 on Monday.
Point guard Baron Davis also has been limited by a back injury.
Most Knicks in the locker room after Game 2 did not want to discuss specifics of the Stoudemire incident.
Chandler said the Knicks would have to "deal" with the fallout from the power forward's injury.
"He's probably going to be out. I don't know how bad it is. ... Your emotions run high. In a split second, a decision can alter things," Chandler said. "You can't fault anybody. We've got to deal with the repercussions."
This is the second consecutive postseason in which Stoudemire suffered a self-inflicted injury. Last April, Stoudemire pulled a muscle in his back while attempting a dunk in warm-ups prior to Game 2 against the Boston Celtics.
He was limited by the injury for the remainder of the series, which the Knicks lost in four straight.
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