Amar'e limited to 20 minutes this year?

How far will Mike Woodson push oft-injured forward Amar'e Stoudemire this season? Debby Wong/USA Today Sports

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Mike Woodson hinted that Amar'e Stoudemire may not be allowed to play more than 20 minutes per game this season.

"We've just got to figure out if it's going to be 10 minutes, 15, 20. We won't know at this point until he's back on the floor and seeing how things are going," Woodson said Tuesday.

Stoudemire averaged 23.5 minutes per game last season, when he was limited to 30 minutes per game by the team's medical staff. The minutes limit proved prudent because Stoudemire needed a second knee surgery in March after he experienced soreness following a four-games-in-five nights stretch.

In two of those games, the 30-year-old Stoudemire played more than 30 minutes.

Stoudemire will likely be on a stricter minutes count this year.

"I thought we were really doing a pretty good job managing his minutes last season," Woodson said. "And they were, I thought, positive minutes in terms of helping us win basketball games when he was in there."

Stoudemire put up strong numbers when healthy last year, averaging 14.3 points and five rebounds in 29 regular season games. But as ESPN.com's Tom Haberstroh points out in his Knicks season preview, New York won 55.2 percent of its games with Stoudemire seeing action and 70.4 percent of its games without him.

Just how much the Knicks can get out of Stoudemire this season remains to be seen. He has missed the first three preseason games.

No one is sure if he will be ready for the season opener on Oct. 30. The 11-year veteran underwent an offseason knee procedure over the summer (his third in the past 12 months) so the Knicks are being cautious with him. Stoudemire's been running on the court but has yet to scrimmage with his teammates.

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