Amare Stoudemire has a bulging disk in his back and is out indefinitely, a damaging blow to the New York Knicks with a month left in the regular season.
Stoudemire had an MRI exam Monday that revealed the injury. The Knicks say he doesn’t need surgery and the injury will be treated with rehabilitation.
Point guard Jeremy Lin is also out for the Knicks against the Bucks because of a sore right knee, but Stoudemire’s injury is the greater concern.
He was finally playing well recently after struggling earlier this season following a back injury in last season’s playoffs. The Knicks currently hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Stoudemire, who left Saturday’s game against the Pistons with lower back soreness, is in Miami seeking a second opinion.
The six-time All-Star will receive what the Knicks termed "non-surgical treatment." But surgery is seemingly an option after interim head coach Mike Woodson said, unprompted, "If he has to have surgery, he has to rehab and come back."
This is the second straight year that Stoudemire, who is in year two of a five-year, $100 million contract, has suffered back woes. He pulled a back muscle in the playoffs last year and had to spend the offseason rehabbing.
The injury news is surprising in its significance. Stoudemire said Saturday his back had improved and he expected to play Monday. He also assured reporters his back was not a serious issue.