Amare says he's 'still doubtful' for Sunday

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- For the first time since suffering lacerations to his left hand, Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire went through shooting drills, ran full court, dunked and even palmed the ball with his injured hand during Friday's practice.

Afterward, interim coach Mike Woodson was optimistic about Stoudemire returning on Sunday for Game 4 of the Heat-Knicks series.

But Stoudemire isn't so sure.

"It's still doubtful," Stoudemire said after working out with padding and a large bandage on his left hand. "[I've] still got to make sure the reaction off today's practice is not severe. We'll see how I feel tomorrow, and even after tomorrow. ... So I'm gonna be doubtful probably until up to game time."

If Stoudemire can get through the next two days of practice without any setbacks, he wants to take the court on Sunday. The Heat trail the Knicks 3-0 in the best-of-seven series.

"I'll wait and see how the reaction is after work today. So we'll see, tomorrow how it feels. If it feels great tomorrow then I'll practice again tomorrow and then we'll see for Sunday," he said.

Stoudemire injured his hand after hitting the glass case surrounding a fire extinguisher in frustration after the Knicks' Game 2 loss on Monday.

He needed stitches to close the wound and underwent a surgical procedure to repair what the Knicks called a "small muscle" in his hand on Tuesday.

Stoudemire said the cut was extremely close to a nerve in his hand and suggested that he may have suffered more severe and permanent damage to his hand if he had cut the nerve.

"It was a pretty significant cut. I feel extremely blessed in the situation [because] the cut was a millimeter away from a nerve," Stoudemire said. "... I feel great that I'm able to get back on the basketball court and still run and play and use my hand, off an incident that wasn't on purpose, just a reaction out of losing a game, [it] almost cost me my hand."