For Amare Stoudemire, his 2008-09 campaign with the Suns will be forever known as "The Extended Eye Exam." On October 1, 2008, while in training camp, Stoudemire was poked in the right eye by teammate Boris Diaw and suffered a partially torn iris. Fortunately, he recovered in time for opening night. But then on February 18, 2009, against the Clippers, while Stoudemire was in the midst of his best game of the year -- 42 points and 11 rebounds -- he got poked in the same eye, again, by Clippers' forward Al Thornton. This time, though, the news was worse. Stoudemire had a partially detached retina and would miss the remainder of the season.
Stoudemire was on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight and reflected on the injury, saying he feared he might never be able to play basketball again.
"The doctor said I needed to have an emergency procedure. With that being said, I had to pretty much lay down on the table for 22 hours a day for 10 straight days in order to reattach the retina. You can't move at all. Honestly, it was torture. It was extremely hard, but I read a lot, I watched DVDs on my laptop and I just slowly passed the time on. It was something that was extremely terrifying. I didn't know if I was going to regain my full vision. I didn't know about the future of the NBA or my career, but I was able to persevere."
On his vision now: "Oh, it's great. It's 20/20," which drew a big applause from the audience.
To hear more of Stoudemire's conversation with Letterman, including his choice of goggles, click here.
Here's also a video of Stoudemire speaking more in-depth about his injury at the 2009 Vision Summit in Washington, D.C.
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