Phoenix's Channing Frye
may soon be ready for a return to the NBA after being diagnosed with an enlarged heart in September of 2012. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Last September, Suns forward Channing Frye was diagnosed with an enlarged heart -- an ailment which carried with it an indefinite timetable for return, along with the possibility of ending Frye's pro basketball career. Such maladies can be life-altering, but there was initial optimism that Frye might again suit up for Phoenix, provided he sat out a season with the hope that his heart would return to its normal size. There were, of course, no guarantees that such a course would be effective, nor that Frye would every again be ready to handle the rigors of pro-level athletics. But it appears that Frye's resting regimen has gone even better than expected, to the point that he has now been medically cleared by "numerous doctors," to return to the court.
From Bright Side of the Sun:
"I've been cleared by the numerous doctors I've seen," Frye said on on Tuesday for this week's podcast. "This whole process has been extremely detail-oriented on both sides - from my side and the Suns side. We both want to do what's best. I went across country to see the best doctors I could all to make sure they all agreed that I was healthy, that I could do this."
…"Right now I'm excited, but still patient in giving the Suns the information and letting their people go through it. As far as I'm concerned, I'm 100% healthy for any professional athlete. Right now I think it's just, let [the Suns] assess the information and go from there."
Frye won't actually make his return until the Suns give their approval, but there's plenty of time and opportunity for the team to continue to evaluate Frye in the lead-up to training camp and the regular season. According to the report from Bright Side of the Sun, Frye has been exercising over the past two months with guidance from his doctors, after months of being restricted to less strenuous activity. It would undoubtedly take time to get him back up to NBA speed, but provided that all involve sign off on his return, Frye could be of use to Phoenix as either rotation filler or a potential trade chip.
Frye hasn't played an NBA game since April 21, 2012. Since that time, the Suns have replaced their general manager, cycled through two head coaches (Alvin Gentry, Lindsey Hunter) to hire a third (Jeff Hornacek), and parted ways with all but three of Frye's then-teammates (Marcin Gortat
, Shannon Brown
, Markieff Morris