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Knicks Amar'e Stoudemire has been cleared for contact

By Zach Harper | NBA writer

Stoudemire can start playing with contact and can hopefully return soon. (USATSI)
Amar'e Stoudemire can start playing with contact and can hopefully return soon. (USATSI)

The New York Knicks are still looking to get 100 percent healthy as a roster so they can see what they have in relation to the other Eastern Conference contenders. They won't be entirely healthy until J.R. Smith serves his suspension after returning from his knee injury some time in November (maybe December?), but they're getting closer to having a full roster. Big man Amar'e Stoudemire is still recovering from knee surgery but he's making progress in his recovery.

Stoudemire has been cleared for contact drills and even took a little contact on Saturday when the team practiced. The signs from his participation in the drills were all positive. He took a collision with rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. in stride and he said after practice that he felt explosive out there. From ESPN New York:

Amar'e Stoudemire took a big step toward getting back on the court Saturday, but his status for the season opener is still up in the air.

Stoudemire was cleared for contact and participated in half-court drills Saturday. It was the first contact for Stoudemire since he underwent surgery on his knee over the summer.

"I felt explosive. So we'll see how the progress continues," Stoudemire said.

Stoudemire collided with rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. in half-court drills and hit his head, but he seemed to be OK.

The goal is to have Stoudemire back on the court and in the rotation for the Knicks by or closely around October 30 when they start the 2013-14 season at home against the Milwaukee Bucks. Stoudemire played in just 29 games last season and has missed a combined 72 games the past two regular seasons. When he did play, he scored efficiently with 14.2 points on 57.7 percent from the field in 23.5 minutes per game.

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