In today’s NBA news, Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire has not yet been cleared for contact, and Lakers star Kobe Bryant cannot “push off” his Achilles.
STAT not yet cleared
According to ESPN NY’s Ian Begley, Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire has not yet been cleared for contact.
It is beginning to look less and less likely that Stoudemire will be ready to play Opening Night.
Stoudemire had knee surgery in July to “clean up” one of his troublesome knees. Although the surgery wasn’t considered major, it was his third time under the knife in the past 12 months.
Stoudemire, who will be 31 in November, played in only 29 games for the Knicks last season. His health has always been a major concern ever since being drafted by Phoenix in 2002. He underwent microfracture knee surgery in 2005. In 2009, he had surgery to repair a detached retina. He is certainly no iron man.
The former All-Star is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $100 million deal that he signed with the Knicks in 2010.
Due to Stoudemire’s frequent injury woes, the Knicks traded for Toronto big man Andrea Bargnani in the offseason.
When Stoudemire eventually does come back, it seems as if he will be a a glorified role player off the bench and most likely be on a minutes restriction for a second straight season.
The Knicks should compete for a top-five seed in the East and could win a round or two in the playoffs.
To check out our view on where the Knicks will finish, click here
Kobe still not ready
According to Lakers.com reporter Mike Trudell, Kobe Bryant cannot yet “push off his Achilles.”
“I can’t quite push all the way through yet, but it’s coming along fine. It feels all right.” Bryant said. “It gets tight, so we just continue to work with modalities and making sure we loosen it up and get it going, but I feel good about it.”
Bryant suffered the injury in April during a game vs. Golden State. He was attempting to cut toward the
basket when his Achilles tendon just gave out, causing him to collapse to the ground in agony. He stayed in the game to take his free throws before eventually leaving.
It doesn’t appear that Bryant is close to 100 percent at this point, which is disappointing because the regular season begins in 11 days.
We have all learned in the past to never bet against the Black Mamba, but it would seem like a long shot for Bryant to suit up on Opening Night. Torn Achilles tendons usually require nine to 12 months of recovery.
If healthy, Bryant and his Lakers could make a run at one of the two final playoff spots in the crowded Western Conference.
To see where we have the Lakers finishing, check out our season preview.