Wednesday , Mar , 22 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Stoudemire rises for Suns

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – Phoenix forward Amare Stoudemire is expected to
return to the lineup on Thursday when the Suns take on the Portland Trail
Blazers at U.S. Airways Center.

Stoudemire has yet to play a game this season due a left knee injury that
required surgery to repair a joint surface defect on October 11, 2005.

The 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year, Stoudemire is coming off a stellar season
that saw him lead Phoenix to the league’s best regular-season record (62-20).
The 22-year-old averaged 26 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, while also
ranking second in the NBA in field goal percentage (.559) and first in free
throw attempts (795).

Stoudemire was even better during the playoffs, but his team ultimately lost
in five games during the Western Conference finals to San Antonio.

The 6-foot-10 Stoudemire was the first player to enter the NBA directly from
high school and win its top rookie honor. The ninth overall pick in the 2002
NBA Draft, Stoudemire has averaged 19.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in
217 career games with the Suns.

Stoudemire, a 2004-05 All-Star, agreed to a contract extension prior to this
season that will keep him with the team through the 2010-11 season.