Suns' Stoudemire to undergo knee surgery Tuesday
The arthroscopic operation will be conducted by team physician Tom Carter, the Suns announced on Monday.
Stoudemire, who signed a five-year, $73 million contract extension a week ago, sat out the final two days of training camp in Tucson because of the injury to the knee's articulate cartilage. He received opinions from three specialists before deciding to have the surgery.
If no serious damage is detected, Stoudemire probably will be out three to four weeks, coach Mike D'Antoni told The Associated Press. Then, it will be only a matter of getting back in shape.
"Hey, the guy's an unbelievable talent," D'Antoni said. "In about an hour and a half he'll be in shape and ready to go."
Stoudemire will miss the entire preseason, which begins at Seattle on Friday night. The Suns open their regular season Nov. 1 at home against Dallas.
D'Antoni acknowledged that hearing the words surgery and Stoudemire in the same sentence "sends shivers up everybody's spine."
"But he's young and he's healthy and hopefully everything will be fine," the coach said.
Suns president Bryan Colangelo declined to comment on Stoudemire's status. The Suns wrapped up training camp on Sunday and had Monday off. They will resume workouts on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old power forward was a dominant force playing out of position at center for a Suns team that won an NBA-best 62 games last season, his third in the NBA. He averaged 37 points against Tim Duncan when the Suns were eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals.
The soreness had bothered Stoudemire during the summer, and he worked out sparingly in Tucson. His last practice was Friday morning.
The No. 9 pick in the 2002 draft, Stoudemire won the Rookie of the Year award over Yao Ming in 2002-03 and has improved each season. He was fifth in the NBA in scoring last season at 26 points per game. He averaged just under 30 in the playoffs.
D'Antoni said Stoudemire's absence could have a silver lining because other players will have more opportunities to show their abilities.
"Actually, we can make better judgment on our guys in the rotation," he said, "because we know what Amare's going to do."
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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