Stoudemire was cleared to practice on Monday and the big man is close to recovering from a ruptured popliteal cyst suffered prior to the start of the 2012-13 season. Head coach Mike Woodson is pleased with Stoudemire’s progress thus far.
“Absolutely, it’s a wonderful sign,” Woodson exclaimed. “We just have to gauge it and see where he is tomorrow. “
Stoudemire has dealt with a myriad of injuries during his career and this latest setback is forcing him to remain patient despite the time on the practice floor.
“The most important fact is that we are winning,” Stoudemire explained. “That allows me to have a little more patience than if we were losing. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I can see that my health is getting better and better every day, so that being said, there’s confidence in me being 100 percent soon.”
Stoudemire told reporters he is not quite ready for game action as some rumors have circulated that he could potentially play on Sunday at the Garden. The former All-Star is motivated to regain his explosive abilities before rejoining the squad.
“I’m on pace to return back to dominance, it’s just a matter of getting 100 percent,” Stoudemire stated.
Shifting the focus to Shumpert, the head coach said his second-year guard is in the initial stages of basketball work as it relates to his rehab schedule.
“Just doing conditioning, so it won’t be any contact. It’s a lot of conditioning stuff with the basketball, shooting basically,” Woodson added.
New York will return to MSG on Friday night for a rematch against a Bulls team that defeated them in Chicago 12 days ago. On the bright side, Steve Novak was back at practice after suffering from flu-like symptoms, which kept him out of the Brooklyn game.
Tipoff set for 7:30 on Friday night for Knicks – Bulls with coverage on MSG Networks.