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
"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.