- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 1, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - Amare Stoudemire’s difficult season may be over.

Stoudemire had a small muscle in his left hand repaired Tuesday and will not play for the New York Knicks in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat on Thursday.

Stoudemire met with a hand specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, a day after he was badly cut when he punched the case surrounding a fire extinguisher after the Knicks‘ 104-94 loss in Miami.

The Knicks are listing Stoudemire as doubtful for Game 4 on Sunday.

Stoudemire apologized on his Twitter account for the act, which leaves the Knicks without another key player as they try to rally from a 2-0 deficit. Jeremy Lin is still recovering from knee surgery and Iman Shumpert is out for the season after tearing a knee ligament in Game 1.

“We all have done thing out of anger that we regret,” Stoudemire wrote. “That makes us human. Bad timing on my part. Sorry guys. This (too) shall pass.”

Stoudemire scored 18 points in Game 2, though he didn’t get into a good flow until the fourth quarter, when the Knicks could never seriously challenge the Heat. But any hope of carrying the momentum from his positive finish into Thursday’s game at Madison Square Garden was lost during his walk back to the locker room.

“It’s tough. Your emotions run high. Split-second decisions can obviously alter things,” center Tyson Chandler said after the game. “You can’t fault anybody because I’m obviously a person that has high emotions at times. So one quick decision, make a mistake and now you’ve got to deal with the repercussions.”

Perhaps it was all the frustration built up during a tough season on and off the court.

Stoudemire missed time in February after his older brother died in a car accident. He then sat out 13 games late in the season with a bulging disk in his back, and when he did play had his worst statistical season since he was a rookie in 2002-03.

Reactions to his self-inflicted wound ranged from disbelief to criticism.

“And people talk about me. That’s what I’m saying. As much stuff as I do, I’ve never did nothing where I’m punching some glass in the middle of the playoffs, where I’m going to hurt my team,” the Spurs’ Stephen Jackson said.

“Throw the ball or kick the dresser. Don’t punch glass to where you can’t play. I know Amare has had a tough year with losing his family member. It’s been a tough year for him. And going down 0-2 is definitely frustrating in the playoffs when you have a good team. So I understand his frustration. But it’s definitely not the right thing to do at that time.”

The Knicks played well without Stoudemire down the stretch by moving Carmelo Anthony to power forward, where he could take advantage of slower opponents. But asking him to carry so much of the offensive load on his own is probably too much to ask against the Heat, who are 5-0 against the Knicks this season.

Stoudemire was an instant favorite when he decided to sign in New York in July 2010. Though the Knicks had been hoping to get some combination of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who all signed in Miami, Stoudemire confidently proclaimed that the Knicks were back.

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