Amar'e Stoudemire had procedure

NEW YORK -- New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire underwent a minor procedure on his knee in the offseason that will limit his availability in the preseason, coach Mike Woodson said.

Woodson said Monday that the Knicks will "take it slowly" with Stoudemire during training camp. The 11-year veteran says he hasn't taken part in any "on-court" activity in the offseason.

"The whole goal is to get strong and recover," Stoudemire said. "So hopefully by the time training camp is over I should be ready to go. If not, we'll see. [We're] still taking precautionary measures. We'll see how that plays out."

This latest knee procedure was the third in the past 12 months for Stoudemire, a six-time All-Star who appeared in just 29 regular-season games last season because of knee issues. He underwent two surgeries to remove debris in both knees last year.

Stoudemire also had microfracture surgery on his knee in 2005.

Stoudemire is entering the fourth season of a five-year, $100 million contract with the Knicks. He has two years and $45 million left on his deal, which is uninsured due to his previous knee issues.

The 6-foot-11 Stoudemire played on a minutes limit of 20 per game last season and is expected to play on a similar limit this season. Woodson said he and the team's medical staff will have to get "creative" with the use of Stoudemire.

"The medical staff will direct me in that area in terms of where we go with [Stoudemire]," Woodson said. "The bottom line is to try to get [Stoudemire] through a full season where he's ready to go in the playoffs."

Stoudemire shares the same goal, though he seems resigned to the fact that he'll have to deal with knee issues for the rest of his career.

"The whole objective is to prolong my career, my season, to make sure I'm ready for the postseason when it really counts," Stoudemire, 30, said. "That's the whole goal. Right now, unfortunately my career has been somewhat tainted by injuries the last few years of my career. Now it's a matter to maintain strength and health, to have some solid and productive years.

"I do still want to reach my full potential. I still have room to improve as a player. My career isn't over yet. So with that being said, we're just taking precautionary measures to make sure that I'm able to play at a high level."