According to Al Iannazzone of Newsday the power forward has a cyst on his left knee:
Amare Stoudemire went home this morning to get his left knee re-evaluated. MRI revealed a ruptured popliteal cyst.
Also per Iannazzone, the cyst will keep Stoudemire on the shelf for approximately two-to-three weeks, ensuring that the once star-caliber scorer isn’t available opening.
Moving beyond the implications Stoudemire’s absence has on the Knicks offense, there is a silver-lining to be found amidst this all-too-familiar tale of injury—Chris Copeland.
Copeland, the 28-year-old rookie who has spent the past five years playing in Europe, has caught the attention of many because of his preseason scoring abilities. He’s averaging 15.5 points on 52.6 percent shooting in 21.5 minutes per game. That’s impressive, and dare I say, Stoudemire-like.
Though Copeland is not officially guaranteed a roster spot, it’s hard to imagine the Knicks cutting a volume-scoring frontcourt athlete at this point.
The 6’8″ Copeland does need to work on his defensive execution and rebounding, but so does Stoudemire. For now, at least, he provides an offensively capable stopgap who will be able to put points on the board in Stoudemire’s stead.
And don’t underestimate the importance of that. The Knicks’ frontline is anything but durable. Carmelo Anthony is a comforting presence, but between the injury risks that are Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Marcus Camby, and the aging veterans that are Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace, New York is in desperate need of some healthy youth.
At 28, Copeland wouldn’t normally be considered a source of youthful exuberance, but these aren’t normal circumstances. The Knicks are set to become the oldest team in the history of the NBA, meaning 28 truly is rookie-like on that roster.
Not only does Copeland give orange and blue a forward who can score, but he’s also a fresh set of legs, which is more than we can say for Stoudemire at this point.
So, while we shouldn’t expect Copeland to make the jump from no-name to superstar, we should expect him to not only earn a roster spot, but become vital to New York’s offensive execution until Stoudemire returns to full-strength.
If he ever returns to full-strength.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.