Stoudemire continues rehab, won't go to Asia with U.S.
LAS VEGAS -- Amare Stoudemire was dropped Thursday from the U.S. roster for its trip to Asia, leaving 14 players available for the 12 spots on the world championship team.
USA Basketball announced Stoudemire's departure hours before it played Puerto Rico in an exhibition game. The Phoenix Suns forward was to miss that game and return home to continue rehabbing his right knee and await the impending birth of a child.
"During the past few days of our training camp we concluded that it would be difficult for Amare to continue with the rehabilitation he needs to do while the team continues its training in Asia," USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said in a statement.
"He is not quite where he needs to be and he needs to continue his work here in the States to get ready for the season. He is also expecting the birth of a child, so we decided it would be best if he returned home."
Stoudemire entered camp as somewhat of a long shot to make the final 12. He was limited to only three games last season after a pair of knee surgeries, and was still well off his top form after an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee in April.
But a strong finish to the first segment of camp paved the way for him to make the second week after Suns teammate Shawn Marion developed a knee injury during the earlier session.
Stoudemire remained on the national team roster and is eligible to play in the 2008 Olympics.
The remaining 14 players are scheduled to depart for China on Friday to continue training. The roster must be reduced to 12 before the world championships begin in Japan on Aug. 19.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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