They say in life you need to “expect the unexpected.” Suns forward Channing Frye can relate.
The 6’11, 245-pounder was going through his normal off-season preparations when Suns cardiologist Dr. Tim Byrne discovered Frye had dilated cardiomyopathy. It was first discovered during a routine treadmill stress test players go through before training camp.
The injury has sidelined the former St. Mary’s High and University of Arizona star for the entire NBA season. His enlarged heart is only treatable with rest. This comes on the heels of Frye missing the end of last year with a season-ending shoulder injury.
One of the more likable local athletes, Frye says his recovery to this point has gone well.
“Everything is on the up and up,” he explained to Brad Cesmat Monday on “Big Guy on Sports.” “I got tested [recently] and [doctors] said everything is moving forward. Everything is getting better…it’s exciting news for me and my family. Knowing I can come back [to play] next year and start working out in March.”
In his time spent away from teammates and the sport he loves, Frye has tried to keep things in perspective without losing focus of life’s big picture.
“It’s just a game,” he candidly told Cesmat Monday. “We put so much emphasis on how important things are, but it kinda gets taken away…I think [players] sometimes don’t appreciate everything they have and look at it from a fan’s point of view. I get a rare glimpse of looking at it from a fan’s point of view.”
Without being able to workout due to his condition, he’s taken up yoga and golf as ways to help keep his mind and body in tune. Frye said the most strenuous exercise he can do is 20 pushups…over the course of an hour. He said he can’t run around the house chasing his two-year old son because he can’t risk his heart rate rising too fast.
Viewing the Suns as a spectator he’s taken a greater appreciation for the job head coach Alvin Gentry and his staff have done even with some bumps in the road early in the season.
“Guys are still trying to develop their roles,” Frye said. “You tip your hat to Alvin getting nine new guys. Look at how hard they’re playing. The reasons they’re losing games is little mistakes…in the second and third quarters we’re getting down by ten or twelve points and we have to play perfect the rest of the game…it’s going to take guys diving on the floor. We can’t be cute out there. Guys want to look cool, but winning games doesn’t look cool all the time.”
The downtime has also allowed Frye to keep a close eye on the UofA Wildcats. He attended their big win Saturday in Tucson over then 5th-ranked Florida.
He fully expects to make a full recovery and be ready for the 2013-14 season with the Suns.