Amare Stoudemire says back is sore

NEW YORK -- Amare Stoudemire is still in some pain, nearly two months after the All-Star power forward pulled a back muscle in Game 2 of the New York Knicks' first-round series against Boston.

"My back is sore. It's a bit tight," said Stoudemire, who made a promotional appearance Wednesday at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.

The injury initially was characterized as back spasms before it was discovered that Stoudemire had pulled a muscle. But it was still considered a day-to-day setback. In fact, before Game 4 against the Celtics on April 24, Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni didn't seem too concerned.

"When I saw him and saw how relieved and good he felt, I had a lot less doubt today than I did," D'Antoni said at the time.

Stoudemire said his issue is strictly muscle-related, but he's optimistic that he'll be healed by July. In fact, he has plans to work out next month with Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and other teammates.

Billups is "doing good," according to his trainer, Joe Abunassar. Recently, the point guard underwent a second MRI in New York City to evaluate the status of his left knee, which he strained in Game 1 on April 17.

Billups will fly to Abunassar's Las Vegas' Impact Basketball training facility in the next two weeks, the trainer said, to begin preparation for next season.

Jared Zwerling is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.