Suns starter Channing Frye, who has found himself on an offensive roll recently, will unfortunately now find himself sidelined for the next two-to-three weeks after dislocating his right shoulder yesterday.
The 6-11 forward/center dislocated it with 6:28 remaining in regulation against the Thunder on Sunday. While Frye was posting up Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Durant swiped at the ball and got a lot of Frye’s shoulder and arm.
Despite no foul being called on the play, Frye instantly crumbled into a protective position, gripping his dislocated shoulder. Up until that point in the game, the former Arizona star had collected 11 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.
Frye underwent an MRI exam today, confirming the injury as a dislocation. Depending on the ongoing evaluation of the Suns’ orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Thomas Carter, Frye will miss between two and three weeks of action.
After signing a new deal with the Suns this past summer, Frye is averaging a career-high-tying 12.3 points a game, as well as career highs in rebounds (6.6) and blocks (1.0). He ranks fifth in the NBA in three-pointers made this season.
“He’s playing the best basketball of his career,” Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry said. “He’s done a great job for us and everybody sees the two last-second shots he made for us, but he’s been so solid defensively and had 15 rebounds last night without even playing the fourth quarter or overtime. He’s somebody that we really need to get back and get back as quickly as possible.”
In addition to receiving national acclaim for drilling game-winning baskets in back-to-back games last week, Frye has scored in double figures in eight out of his last 10 contests. Over that span he has been invaluable offensively, averaging 16.2 points and 7.8 rebounds on 53-percent shooting from the floor and 48-percent shooting from downtown.
As for what the coaching staff plans to do to replace Frye, that still remains to be seen. Gentry and Co. could increase reserve forward Hakim Warrick’s minutes or play Grant Hill at power forward on perimeter fours.
“We spent about two hours talking about that as a coaching staff this morning,” Gentry said. “I’m sure we’ll revisit it tomorrow some because there’s a lot of ways that we can go.
“Hakim Warrick has played well for us and done a good job. He’s not the spacer Channing is, but he’s also very good at running the floor and finishing things. He still gives us the opportunity to play the way we want to play.”
We’ll see what Gentry decides to do when the Suns host the Rockets on Tuesday at 7 p.m. on FS Arizona.