New York Knicks All-Star forward Amar’e Stoudemire will be out two to four weeks with a bulging disk in his lower back as the team tries to make the National Basketball Association playoffs.
Stoudemire, who missed a win against the Milwaukee Bucks on March 26, will return to New York from Miami today after getting a second opinion on his injury. Both doctors agreed he should undergo non-surgical treatment and rehabilitation, including an epidural, the Knicks said in a statement.
The Knicks have a 25-25 record and are in eighth place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, where the top eight finishers make the playoffs. If Stoudemire is out for four weeks, he could miss the rest of the regular season, which concludes for the Knicks on April 26 in Charlotte.
New York has a 6-1 record this season without Stoudemire, who is averaging 17.6 points and eight rebounds a game, and is 19-24 when he’s in the lineup.
While the Knicks have a better record when Stoudemire hasn’t played, AccuScore projections give the team a 54.3 percent chance of making the postseason without him. If Stoudemire plays, the Knicks have a 64.4 percent chance getting in the playoffs, according to AccuScore, which predicts the results of U.S. sports events through simulations that take into account hundreds of variables, including injuries.
A 10-year NBA veteran, Stoudemire is averaging fewer than 20 points a game for the first time since his rookie season. The six-time All-Star has averaged 21.6 points and 8.8 rebounds over his career with the Knicks and Phoenix Suns.
The Knicks have 16 regular-season games left and play tonight at home against the Orlando Magic.
New York also played two days ago without point guard Jeremy Lin because of a sore left knee. Lin, who is averaging 14.6 points and 6.1 assists, said he’s day-to-day and won’t play again until he’s fully recovered.