Former Arizona Wildcats center Channing Frye has decided to sit out the 2012-13 NBA season with the Phoenix Suns after he was diagnosed this week with an enlarged heart. The team announced the news on Thursday and said the starting power forward's condition was found during a routine preseason physical exam.
Suns beat reporter Paul Coro talked to Frye, who said he was scared after learning of the problem but was no doubt going to return to the hardwood when he's ready.
"The good news is it is a virus so it does have a good chance of going away," Frye said. "My heart can be normal again."
"It was very shocking and, at the same time, scary," he said of his situation. "It's not like an arm or a knee or an elbow where you're like, 'Maybe I can just rehab this.' It's something that keeps you going."
Frye won't participate in basketball activities and his condition will be reevaluated by the Suns medical staff in December.
Thanks everyone for your support. I will be ok. It will pass and ill be back we have the best staff in the NBA helping me out.— Channing Frye (@Channing_Frye) September 20, 2012
Under such a diagnosis, there's the worry for a heart problem that goes beyond if and when Frye will return. But the good news is that it was caught, and recent medicine has shown that much worse heart ailments didn't keep players off the floor.
Ronny Turiaf underwent open heart surgery and won an NBA championship with the Miami Heat. Jeff Green missed all of last season with the Boston Celtics after a more severe heart condition was discovered. The Boston forward issued his support for Frye on Twitter Thursday.
My prayers go out to @channing_frye hope everything is okay and he can get out on that court healthy ASAP— Jeff Green (@unclejeffgreen) September 21, 2012
Former Arizona manager and NAU Lumberjacks head coach Jack Murphy, who was on staff when Frye was at Arizona, wished Frye the best of luck.
A get well message for my good friends and quite possibly the nicest person I know, @channing_frye. He is a great man, father and husband!— Jack Murphy (@NAUcoachMurphy) September 20, 2012
Arizona head coach Sean Miller offered his well wishes to Frye via Twitter as well.
All of wildcat nation hopes for a quick recovery for UA great @channing_frye! You're welcome in Tucson anytime! #aplayersprogram— Sean Miller (@UACoachMiller) September 21, 2012
You know, Luke Walton joined Memphis' coaching staff during the NBA lockout last season. If Frye takes Miller up on the offer, it wouldn't be too bad to have a successful NBA player around the program a little more often than usual.
But of course, the main thing on Frye's plate should and will be his health.