New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire has been ruled out for the first two games of the upcoming series against the Indiana Pacers, but the big man could be back for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, Ian Begley of ESPN New York reports.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson announced the news to media Saturday morning, a week before Game 3 is scheduled.
Stoudemire missed the entire first round series against the Boston Celtics while nursing a knee injury, which has kept him out since March 7, but he's making enough progress in his recovery that he could make an impact in the next series.
The Knicks were able to survive in six games against the Celtics, but it was a surprisingly hard fought series after New York's 3-0 start.
Facing a stiffer defensive team in the second round -- Indiana was No. 1 in defensive efficiency during the regular season, per NBA.com -- New York may need the extra scoring oomph Amar'e can provide.
During the regular season, Stoudemire averaged 14.2 points and five rebounds in just 23.5 minutes per game. His playing time was limited throughout the season by injuries, but he was extremely efficient when he was able to get on the court.