Amar'e Stoudemire will miss the first six weeks of the NBA season with left knee problems, Chris Broussard of ESPNNewYork.com reports. Stoudemire had microfracture surgery on that knee in 2005, and he ruptured a popliteal cyst in the same area on Oct. 29 this preseason.
While Stoudemire is a big part of New York's offense, the Knicks have learned how to play without him before.
Stoudemire has missed quite a few games since joining the team in 2010 as the big prize from the offseason free agent hunt. He played just 47 games last year in the lockout-shortened season, missing time with a back injury and then being sidelined in the playoffs after he punched a fire extinguisher case and cut his hand.
A bigger concern for the Knicks, though, is how well Stoudemire plays when he is healthy. While Stoudemire anchored the team when he first arrived, averaging 25.3 points and 8.2 rebounds a game, his production dropped after Carmelo Anthony arrived from Denver via a trade in February 2011.
Stoudemire averaged just 17.5 points and 7.8 rebounds a game in 2011-2012, but the effects of Anthony and Stoudemire failing to mesh on the court went beyond the numbers. While the ascent of point guard Jeremy Lin buoyed the team for a time, it was clear that, while the Knicks certainly had the amount of talented players they needed, the team was often better off if those players weren't sharing the floor.
The Knicks will now begin the season with the offense running through Anthony and new point guard Jason Kidd, with Stoudemire expected to miss about six to eight weeks after getting a second opinion on his knee over the weekend from the Suns' Dr. Thomas Carter, who performed Stoudemire's first surgery.
Stoudemire's five-year, $100 million deal with the Knicks is uninsured due to his lingering knee problems.