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When we talked about the thin line the Knicks were walking earlier on Monday, Amar'e Stoudemire's back injury from Saturday night's game with the Pistons was one of the things cited as a potential reason to worry.
Worry away, boys and girls, because the news on Stoudemire's back isn't good. He had an MRI Monday and was diagnosed with a bulging disc that has him listed as out indefinitely for the Knicks.
As of now, no surgery is planned to repair the injury but Mike Woodson said that it couldn't totally be ruled out as an option down the road. Reading between the lines leaves you with a very bleak view of Stoudemire's status for the rest of the regular season, at the very least, and, in light of Stoudemire's past back issues, a generally bleak view of what life will be like for the rest of his contract.
Stoudemire's recent resurgence has been heartwarming, but Monday's news is a sledgehammer of a reminder that he came to the Knicks in sufficiently bad physical condition that insurance companies wouldn't take on his contract. All year long we wondered if he was hurting, then he finally came around -- only to suffer the kind of injury we feared would knock him out at the most crucial point of the season with Jared Jeffries already out with his own injury.
Like everything else in this wacky Knicks year, it makes for a better narrative than it does fan experience. If that's not enough to get you reaching for the hemlock, Jeremy Lin will also miss Monday's huge matchup with the Bucks to rest his sore knee.
Not so hot on the timing, eh? We're grasping for a positive way to end this jolt of negativity, but perhaps there's one to be found with Carmelo Anthony.
He came to New York because he wanted to be the man on the big stage. This is his opportunity to do it.
Pull off the rest of this season as the lead and only consistent scoring option, and everything that went down before will be forgotten. Melo's got a chance to play hero right now and the Knicks might well need him to do just that to even get the chance at another first-round loss.
It's a lot to put on his shoulders, but, frankly, that's why these shoulders are here.