Channing Frye makes gains in comeback
by Paul Coro, USA TODAY Sports
PHOENIX — It was no sure thing that Channing Frye would be cleared to participate in training camp until two days before it started.
Even then, Frye warned that he would probably have to do things to the side and not be a full-court participant for a while.
On the third day of camp, last week, Frye was playing in a scrimmage.
Even then, Frye said that would not mean he would be ready to play in Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage.
Frye logged 24 minutes in the 40-minute game.
Even then, Frye scoffed at the idea that he might play in a preseason game. After all, he was a mere week into resuming basketball activity after missing a season for an enlarged heart.
Frye scored 14 points in 16 minutes of the Suns’ 104-98 preseason victory Wednesday night at the Portland Trail Blazers, his former team — and his off-season home. Frye made three of his four three-point attempts but his shot was even better than the box score shows because his first two baskets were shots with his toes on the three-point line.
“I talked to (Suns coach) Jeff (Hornacek) and the training staff and they were all like, ‘Channing, you’re a lot better than you think you are,’ ” Frye said Thursday. “I trust Jeff and our coaching staff a lot to keep my minutes to where I was comfortable. Go figure, I wanted to play some more. I felt great. I was pretty shocked at myself. Even though it’s just preseason, it’s growing and progressing for me.”
Frye’s confidence in what he was capable of doing grew with each camp day, starting with his first day when he outshot nearly every teammate in an exhausting post-practice drill.
Frye said he needs the preseason work to become cohesive with new teammates, learn how opponents will play him and get his game conditioning back.
“We practice, but with 18 people, it’s tough to get enough time to play,” Frye said. “Practice is one pace, like a seven or eight. A game is like a 10 or 11. Playing against different people and how I don’t know their scouting report or … [For more on Channing Frye makes gains in comeback from heart issue, click here.]