Suns' Stoudemire to undergo knee surgery Tuesday

PHOENIX -- Amare Stoudemire will undergo diagnostic surgery
on his left knee on Tuesday to determine what is causing the soreness
that has bothered the Phoenix Suns All-Star in recent months.

The arthroscopic operation will be conducted by team physician
Tom Carter, the Suns announced on Monday.

Stoudemire, who signed a five-year, $73 million contract
extension a week ago, sat out the final two days of training camp
in Tucson because of the injury to the knee's articulate cartilage.
He received opinions from three specialists before deciding to have
the surgery.

If no serious damage is detected, Stoudemire probably will be
out three to four weeks, coach Mike D'Antoni told The Associated
Press. Then, it will be only a matter of getting back in shape.

"Hey, the guy's an unbelievable talent," D'Antoni said. "In
about an hour and a half he'll be in shape and ready to go."

Stoudemire will miss the entire preseason, which begins at
Seattle on Friday night. The Suns open their regular season Nov. 1
at home against Dallas.

D'Antoni acknowledged that hearing the words surgery and
Stoudemire in the same sentence "sends shivers up everybody's

"But he's young and he's healthy and hopefully everything will
be fine," the coach said.

Suns president Bryan Colangelo declined to comment on
Stoudemire's status. The Suns wrapped up training camp on Sunday
and had Monday off. They will resume workouts on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old power forward was a dominant force playing out
of position at center for a Suns team that won an NBA-best 62 games
last season, his third in the NBA. He averaged 37 points against
Tim Duncan when the Suns were eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs
in the Western Conference finals.

The soreness had bothered Stoudemire during the summer, and he
worked out sparingly in Tucson. His last practice was Friday

The No. 9 pick in the 2002 draft, Stoudemire won the Rookie of
the Year award over Yao Ming in 2002-03 and has improved each
season. He was fifth in the NBA in scoring last season at 26 points
per game. He averaged just under 30 in the playoffs.

D'Antoni said Stoudemire's absence could have a silver lining
because other players will have more opportunities to show their

"Actually, we can make better judgment on our guys in the
rotation," he said, "because we know what Amare's going to do."