Suns’ Channing Frye (enlarged heart) announces he is back after missing season
After sitting out the entire 2012-13 season because he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart, Suns forward/center Channing Frye indicated Sunday that he has received the medical clearance necessary to make a return to the court for the 2013-14 season.
“I’ll be back next year playing for the [Phoenix] Suns,” Frye wrote on his Twitter account. “I’m happy to be healthy and have a opportunity to [keep] playing!”
Earlier this month, Frye indicated in an interview with BrightSideOfTheSun.com that he had received medical clearance from “numerous doctors” and that he was simply waiting on final clearance from the team’s medical staff.
”Right now I’m excited, but still patient in giving the Suns the information and letting their people go through it,” Frye said during the interview. “As far as I’m concerned, I’m 100% healthy for any professional athlete. Right now I think it’s just, let [the Suns] assess the information and go from there.”
Suns GM Ryan McDonough struck an optimistic tone in comments made to USA Today Sports earlier this month.
“All the results we’ve gotten on Channing are positive,” McDonough said. “We’re just waiting for a conclusion.”
The Suns announced last September that Frye would miss the 2012-13 season because he had developed a dilated cardiomyopathy that was discovered during a routine examination. No recovery timeline was specified and he was listed as out “indefinitely.”
“Nothing is more important to us than the health and well-being of our players,” Suns president Lon Babby said in the team’s announcement. “Channing and his family have the full support of our organization. His health is our primary concern and we are committed to helping him in any way he needs.”
At the time, the Arizona Republic reported that Frye’s condition was caused by a “rare virus” and that rest was the only treatment.
“It was very shocking and, at the same time, scary,” Frye told the paper. “It’s not like an arm or knee or an elbow where you’re like, ‘Maybe I can just rehab this.’ It’s something that keeps you going. The only time you hear about things going on like that is (Boston’s) Jeff Green getting open-heart surgery or (Sacramento’s) Chuck Hayes getting a little scare. … I want to take a year off and make sure that I’m OK to play and that I’m not going to do any more damage to my heart. There’s no reason to push. It’s not worth it for the long run.”
Frye, 30, was a 2005 lottery pick after spending four seasons at the University of Arizona. The versatile big man, known best for his willingness to launch from deep and his career 39 percent three-point shooting, holds career averages of 9.7 points and 5.2 rebounds in seven seasons with the Knicks, Blazers and Suns.
He last suited up in April 2012, and will return to a rebuilding Suns team that has a new GM (McDonough), a new coach (Jeff Hornacek) and a new lottery pick in the middle (Alex Len).
The Suns are expected to be one of the NBA’s worst teams this season and will open their preseason schedule by hosting Israel’s Maccabi Haifa on Oct. 7. Phoenix will begin its regular season schedule when it hosts Portland on Oct. 30.