Just when Amar'e Stoudemire was starting to find his rhythm he's ripped away from the Knicks again.
Head coach Mike Woodson announced his All-Star power forward will miss six weeks after receiving a knee debridement on his right knee. He underwent the same procedure on his left knee in October and did not play until Jan. 1.
The surgery is done to clean out dead tissue in the knee and promote healing.
Woodson called it a "major loss" for the Knicks, who are currently in a fight for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference with Indiana.
"I feel for Amar'e because, again, he put a lot of work in this summer to get back out on the court and what he went through at the beginning of camp and now he's gotta go back in again," Woodson told reporters before Saturday's game against the Jazz. "I feel for the young man because he put so much time and hard work in."
His microfracture surgery in 2005, which caused him to miss all but three games, was on his left knee. But the Knicks forward has dealt with chronic knee injuries throughout his 11-year career.
The "work" his head coach was referring to was an intensive training camp with NBA Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon. Olajuwon has taken to tutoring post players in the finer points of offensive footwork since he retired.
Stoudemire has been an important contributor off the bench for the Knicks since his January return. His improved low-post moves have led to 14.2 points per game in just 23.5 minutes per game. Woodson had been told by team doctors to limit Stoudemire's minutes to 30 per game since his return, something he has recently broken due to the absence of Carmelo Anthony. He has averaged 30.7 minutes and 20 points per game over the last three.
Six weeks from Saturday coincides with the start of the postseason on April 20. If all goes as planned, the team does hope to have him back for the playoffs. In the meantime, recent-signee Kenyon Martin will likely see extended playing time. Chris Copeland will also likely see increased minutes as the Knicks try to make up for the lack of scoring.
Meanwhile, Anthony missed his third straight game against the Jazz. He continues to deal with his own knee issues. The team has listed him as day-to-day with fluid in his knee the past week.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.