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Knicks to be Without Services of Amare Stoudemire

New York Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire will miss up to the season’s first three weeks with a left knee injury, a blow to a team with aspirations of making a mark when the year begins.

Stoudemire returned to New York on Sunday for an MRI, which revealed a ruptured benign cyst. He had sat out the first two game of the preseason with a left knee bruise.

He only played in one exhibition game so far. In Friday’s game against the Toronto Raptors he scored 18 points in 27 minutes, then sat out against Boston on Saturday.

The Knicks will move Carmelo Anthony to the power forward position until Stoudemire can return.  They could also use 40-year-old Kurt Thomas in Stoudemire’s spot.

This is not Stoudemire’s first injury, who who had microscopic surgery on his left knee in 2005 and arthroscopic surgery on his right knee the following spring. The Phoenix Suns refused to offer him a fully guaranteed maximum contract in 2010 because of his injuries.  The Knicks did not even insure his contract in 2010, when he signed for $100 million.

Last season Stoudemire was limited to 47 games last season and averaged just 17.5 points, his worst total since his rookie season of 2002-03. He missed 15 games because of injury, though none because of knee problems.

Long time friend Nets guard Deron Williams knows Stoudemire’s injury history, but had positive words for him.

“That’s tough. I hope he gets better,” Williams said. “He’s had some struggles with injuries, but it doesn’t change how we think about the Knicks. They still have a good team.”

The Knicks overcame the trials to finish 36-30 last season, losing in the first  round of the playoffs for the second straight year. Anthony played some of his  best ball when Stoudemire was injured and he moved to the power forward spot,  but both have said they can flourish in tandem after finally having a training  camp together.

That will have to wait until Stoudemire gets healthy.  T\\\

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