Stoudemire hopes to be ready by Game 4

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Amare Stoudemire thinks there’s a “great chance” he can play in Game 4 of the Knicks’ series againstMiamion Sunday despite cutting his left hand on a fire extinguisher case.

Stoudemire is out of Thursday’s Game 3 after a surgeon repaired a muscle in the hand Tuesday. The Knicks are calling him doubtful for Game 4, but Stoudemire said Wednesday he’s “not totally sure yet.”

The Knicks forward missed 13 games down the stretch with a bulging disk in his back. Wearing a large wrap around his hand, he said he’s hoping for another comeback.

“I just persevere through a lot of injuries and work hard to recover from injuries,” Stoudemire said.

This one was self-inflicted, he said he punched the case out of frustration Monday after the Knicks’ 104-94 loss dropped them into a 2-0 hole, denying he was upset about his diminishing role in the offense. He said the casing was around 85 percent metal and 2 percent glass, calling it bad luck that he hit the glass and cut himself.

“Everybody gets upset. You’re so passionate for the game. Everyone gets upset at times, but never in a million years did I think that I would actually cut my hand the way I did it,” Stoudemire said. “So, bad timing, but I’ll be back.”

Interim coach Mike Woodson said Stoudemire was very apologetic when talking to his teammates Wednesday. Fellow star Carmelo Anthony said he had already spoken with Stoudemire a day earlier.

“He feels bad about what happened,” Anthony said. “He understands what was at stake, the situation. Only thing I care about is him being healthy, his hand being OK. He did it, it’s over with. I don’t really care about that, as long as his hand is fine.”

Fans may not be so understanding after Stoudemire was injured during the playoffs for the second straight season.

Last year, he pulled a muscle in his back while dunking in warm-ups before Game 2 inBoston. He didn’t miss a game, but was clearly limited in Games 2 and 3 as the Knicks were swept.

This time, he may not be able to play at all because of what could be considered a selfish or foolish action.

“I think the fans are thinking that I actually had a closed fist and I punched through a glass, a glass door, you know what I mean?” Stoudemire said. “So I think they’ve got the wrong perception of what actually happened. Obviously I walked by and I swung my arm backwards and I hit the fire extinguisher door and sliced my hand a little bit by accident, so I think they got the wrong perception of what actually happened. I can understand their frustrations right now. I’m frustrated with myself as well for not being available for Game 3.”

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