His left hand heavily bandaged and padded, Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire increased his chances of playing in Sunday's Game 4 by participating in practice Friday morning.
Stoudemire underwent hand surgery Tuesday after suffering a severe laceration when he smashed a pane of glass following Monday night's Game 2 loss at Miami.
"I think he's going to play, but I'm not 100 percent sure," coach Mike Woodson said. "I'm going to have to talk to the doctors."
Woodson did an about-face after seeing Stoudemire on the court, but doctors still have to clear him to play. The coach said after Thursday's Game 3 home loss, which put Miami up 3-0 in the first-round series, that he did not expect to have Stoudemire back on Sunday.
On Wednesday, Stoudemire said there was a "great" chance he would play again in the series, but was only cautiously optimistic Friday after practice.
Stoudemire said doctors advised him not to practice Friday, but pointed out his team's desperate situation.
"With this type of injury, playing Sunday would be out of the question for most people," Stoudemire said. "I feel I'm blessed. I heal fast. I persevere through a lot of injuries."
With or without the six-time All-Star, the Knicks face a mammoth task, needing to take four straight against the defending Eastern Conference champions.