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Former Wildcat Channing Frye will likely miss 2012 NBA season due to enlarged heart

Harry E. Walker
Phoenix Suns center Channing Frye (8) slam dunks during their game against the Washington Wizards played at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., Friday, January 21, 2011. Phoenix defeated Washington 109-91. (Harry E. Walker/MCT)

Former Arizona forward forward Channing Frye will likely miss the entire 2012 NBA season with the Phoenix Suns after being diagnosed with an enlarged heart, according to the Arizona Republic.

Frye was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a rare condition that can be cured with rest, Frye and his doctor said.

Frye, 29, discovered the disease while performing a routine treadmill test that players undergo prior to the October start of training camp.

“It was very shocking and, at the same time, scary,” Frye said.

“It’s not like an arm or knee or an elbow where you’re like, ‘Maybe I can just rehab this.’ It’s something that keeps you going.”

In the 2011-12 season, Frye averaged 10.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 34.6 percent from 3-point range.

Despite his condition, Frye and the team’s cardiologist both said “the chance is better than not” that Frye will return to the floor for the Suns after this season.

“The fact that Channing presented with such a high functional status and the fact that this was found with a screening so early would really portend an excellent prognosis,” Suns cardiologist Dr. Tim Byrne said.

According to Byrne, Frye’s condition is likely the result of a virus and is not related to genetics.

“I’m not done yet,” Frye said. “I still have a lot to prove. I felt great coming in. I was ready to not only drain some 3’s but post up a bit.”

Although Frye will be re-evaluated in December, he and Suns president Lon Babby expect him to miss the entire 2012 season.

“He’s got an exciting future no matter what it holds,” Babby said.

“He’s got a wonderful family, intelligence and a zest for life that no matter which way this turns down the road, he’s going to continue to have a successful and happy life.”

In four years at Arizona, from the 2001 season until 2005, Frye averaged 13.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.

The 6-foot-11 forward was drafted by the New York Knicks in 2005 and was a part of the NBA All-Rookie First Team.

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