New York Knicks injured forward Amar'e Stoudemire doesn't have to undergo season-ending back surgery for a bulging disk in his lower back, but will still be out for two to four weeks.
Many were worried that Stoudemire would be out for the season when Knicks coach Mike Woodson announced on Monday that the forward was out indefinitely, but the Knicks should have him back for the playoffs.
Amar'e will return to New York from Miami, Florida, (Wednesday) after seeking a second opinion on a bulging disk of his lower back, the team said in a statement. Both doctors have agreed that he should undergo non-surgical treatment and rehabilitation that will include an epidural. He is expected to be out for approximately 2-4 weeks.
News that Stoudemire can possibly return for the Knicks in the playoffs is a positive for the team, but there is no guarantee that New York will even make the playoffs. The team currently sits in the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference with 16 games remaining in the shortened NBA season.
The Knicks have a tough stretch ahead, including the first of two games against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. The Knicks also play the Chicago Bulls twice, the Atlanta Hawks, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Indiana Pacers in their next seven games.
The Knicks will need Carmelo Anthony, Jeremy Lin, and the rest of their stars to step up their play in lieu of Stoudemire's absence. Stoudemire was averaging 17.6 points per game before his injury.