<
>

Hurt Amare Stoudemire day to day

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New York Knicks managed just fine without their All-Star power forward on Saturday night. But they'll be looking forward to Amare Stoudemire's likely return on Wednesday.

Stoudemire sat out the Knicks' 105-95 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night at the Prudential Center with a sprained right big toe. However, Stoudemire expects that he'll be able to play against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden after he receives three days of treatment and rest.

"Hopefully [I'll be able to play Wednesday]," said Stoudemire, who was characterized as day to day by head coach Mike D'Antoni. "I'll get treatment tomorrow and a few days of rest. I'll be able to get some pretty good treatment the next three days, so I should be able to go on Wednesday."

Stoudemire, who is averaging 26.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game for the Knicks (27-26), was ruled out approximately 45 minutes before Saturday night's tipoff.

"Just right before going out, I knew it was bothering him a little bit," D'Antoni said. "But I didn't see him and talk to him. And he just kept trying to get weight on it. So we scratched him."

Stoudemire said he suffered the injury during Friday night's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers when he collided with Ron Artest while running down the court.

"I didn't see him," said Stoudemire, who scored 24 points in 32 minutes in the Knicks 113-96 setback on Friday night. "It was last night after the game, I felt sore. This morning, I tried to put some pressure on it, but couldn't put any pressure on the toe. I came in this afternoon and got some treatment, I went through some tests with the trainers and it was extremely sore."

Stoudemire wouldn't characterize the extent of his injury as "turf toe," but said "it's hard to put pressure down."

"And I'm pretty sure it would be tough to run and jump on it," Stoudemire added.

The 28-year-old, who signed a five-year, $100 million contract with the Knicks in the offseason, said he should be able to play in the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 20, provided he is healthy enough.

"Well, hopefully I'm 100 percent by Wednesday," said Stoudemire, the first Knick to be selected to start the All-Star Game since Patrick Ewing in 1992. "And if I am, then the All-Star Game will be a go. But if not, then I probably won't play as much."

Stoudemire added that he's looking forward to getting some rest.

"It's gonna be great," Stoudemire said. "Getting this rest is gonna be phenomenal for myself to get myself back in top shape. I've been lifting weights and staying strong. It's gonna pan out."

Stoudemire, who characterized Saturday night's game as "a must-win," was proud of his resilient teammates for pulling out the victory, which snapped a two-game losing skid. The Knicks torched the Nets for 16 3-pointers, one short of their season-high.

"I almost had a heart attack out there [watching]," Stoudemire said. I don't see how [the coaches] do it. The game was so emotional."

Sixth-man Wilson Chandler started in place of Stoudemire and finished with a team-high 21 points.

"This is a big win for us, without Amare and the way we were going," D'Antoni said. "This is a good win."

Reserve center Ronny Turiaf (sprained right ankle), who missed the last three games, returned. He scored six points in 10 minutes.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.