|Stoudemire is out for at least the first month. (Getty Images)|
The season hasn't even started yet and the Knicks are already hurting.
The news comes as a blow to the Knicks, who initially expected Stoudemire to return within two to three weeks after he ruptured a popliteal cyst behind the knee during the Knicks' exhibition game against Toronto on Oct. 19.
But after Stoudemire received a second opinion over the weekend from Dr. Thomas Carter, the Phoenix Suns team doctor, it was determined he would need more time to heal. Carter performed microfracture surgery on Stoudemire's left knee in 2005.
It is not clear whether Stoudemire will use the extra time off to have a procedure or for rest and rehab.
What this means for the Knicks is a whole lot of Carmelo Anthony playing the 4. He's already said he wants to do more of it this season and the expectation was for a lot of Knicks smallball. Now, at least for the first six weeks, you'll probably see it quite a lot.
The Knicks could choose to go with Kurt Thomas at power forward if they're uncomfortable starting Melo there. Though as you know, Thomas is 94 years old and relying on him as a starter is risky.
Clearly, the injury isn't a good omen for the Knicks' season. They're already dealing with a heap of injuries (Tyson Chandler, Marcus Camby, Iman Shumpert, James White) and adding Stoudemire to that list as a long-term out isn't good.
Six weeks is a pretty good chunk, but the Knicks should be able to survive fine. They need Stoudemire for the stretch run and beyond, and need him healthy. He's had a well chronicled history of knee problems and the Knicks can't afford for that to bother him throughout the season. Better to play it safe and let him get healthy.
The Knicks open the 2012-13 season in Brooklyn against the Nets on Thursday.