May 16, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks power forward Amar

Stoudemire cleared for contact, hopeful for Opening Night

New York Knicks center and forward Amar’e Stoudemire has been cleared for contact in practice and said he hopes to be ready for the team’s opening night on October 30.

Knicks’ head coach hope their big man will be ready for that game, when New York hosts the Milwaukee Bucks to kick off the season.

Last year, the 30-year old veteran was noticeably less dominant for the Knicks, averaging just 14.2 points and five rebounds per game, appearing in just 23.5 minutes per game.

His career averages of 21.3 point and 8.6 rebounds per game indicated a major drop-off in New York in 2012, due largely to the fact he played roughly ten fewer minutes per game last season.

Stoudemire underwent a knee procedure in July after missing significant time last season due to lingering knee issues.

He played from 2002 to 2010 with the Phoenix Suns, who drafted him with the ninth overall pick in the ’02 draft, before coming to New York prior to the 2010-11 campaign.

That season, Stoudemire silenced critics who questioned his ability to play in the spotlight of the Big Apple, averaging 25.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game, setting high hopes of an NBA title to New York.

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