Amare Stoudemire, the New York Knicks' All-Star power forward, reportedly will make his season debut during a New Year's Day game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday evening.
Stoudemire began practicing in mid-December following preseason surgery on his left knee, which he injured in October. He originally targeted Christmas Day for a return but had to tone down those expectations.
The Knicks, who have the fifth-best record in the NBA at 21-9, could be without All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony, who hyperextended a knee last week and has missed two games. New York is only a half-game behind the Miami Heat (21-8) for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Point guard Raymond Felton might also return to the lineup after injuring the pinkie on his right shooting hand diving for a loose ball in a loss to the Lakers on Christmas Day.