Amare Stoudemire said Thursday his recovery from right knee surgery is going "a little bit ahead of schedule," though he isn't sure if he can return to the New York Knicks for the first round of the playoffs.
Stoudemire had surgery to clean up and remove tissue from the knee about 2½ weeks ago and the Knicks said his expected recovery time would be about six weeks. The playoffs open the weekend of April 20.

"It's going well. Actually going a little bit ahead of schedule right now, so I want to keep that progress going," Stoudemire said in a phone interview.

The power forward had the same procedure, called a debridement, on the left knee in late October and returned New Year's Day. He averaged 14.2 points in 29 games as a reserve before getting hurt again.

The Knicks had kept him on a minutes restriction that started in the low 20s and had grown to 30 minutes a night before he was injured. But after Carmelo Anthony was hurt, the Knicks had no choice but to use Stoudemire right to — and even over — that limit. He played 32 minutes on March 4 in Cleveland, the game in which Anthony was injured, and went 31 minutes two nights later in a victory over Detroit, tying his season high with 22 points in each game.