Stoudemire Lucky Eye Injury Not Worse

by Jeramie McPeek
VP, Digital
By Jeramie McPeek,
Updated: Oct. 3, 2008; 2 pm

Amare Stoudemire attended the Suns' shoot around on Friday morning wearing sunglasses after it was determined that he had suffered a partially torn iris.

The All-Star took an inadvertant Boris Diaw finger to the right eye during a scrimmage on Wednesday night, and returned to Phoenix Thursday morning to be evaluated by Dr. Jay Schwartz.

"Amare had a small tear of what is called the iris root," the Suns' team ophthalmologist told "This is where the colored part of the eye meets the white part of the eye on the inside."

The injury is not serious, according to Dr. Schwartz, but could have been.

"He is very lucky it was not worse," he said. "His cornea is fine, his retina is fine, his lens in his eye is fine. Those are three areas that could have also been damaged with an injury like this. Also it is possible to have some bleeding inside the eye with this kind of injury, but he had none. He did have some blurry vision out of that eye, which I expect to improve quickly."

Suns Head Coach Terry Porter did not expect Stoudemire to participate in tonight's intrasquad scrimmage [Live Webcast, 5 pm] at the McKale Center on the campus of University of Arizona, but is hopeful he will resume workouts soon.

"It will be a couple days probably and then we'll reevaluate," said Porter, who didn't realize the All-Star had been hit directly in the eye when he hit the hardwood in pain. "Even when I saw it on tape, I didn't think it looked like a direct hit. More like a glazing blow than anything. But it was pretty bloodshot (Thursday morning) and he felt a lot of discomfort."

Stoudemire has not had much luck with training camps in recent years. The 6-10 forward underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee prior to the 2005 camp, missed most of the team’s 2006 camp in Italy with pain as he began his comeback, and missed the entire 2007 camp following an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee.

Thankfully, the soon-to-be 26-year-old's knees are feeling good this year, but that hasn’t helped him much this week. Stoudemire was limited in the first two days of two-a-days in Tucson, as he recovered from a recent sprained ankle. And then came the finger.

"Amare woke up in some pain and it was really bothering him," Suns GM Steve Kerr told reporters on Thursday morning. "He's got a very red eye and a lot of irritation, and his vision was a little blurred, so it just made sense to have it checked out thoroughly."

According to Porter, Stoudemire might need to wear goggles upon resuming game action.

"Kareem Abdul Amare," Shaq joked after the morning workout. "I had to play with goggles once. It wasn't a good feeling, but hopefully he'll be okay."

Stoudemire was named to the All-NBA Second Team last season, after averaging 25.2 points, 9.1 boards and 2.06 blocks a game.


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