Statuses of injured Frye, Hill unclear as 'subluxation'


PHOENIX — The possibilities of injured Phoenix Suns forwards Grant Hill and Channing Frye playing in Tuesday’s must-win game against the Utah Jazz remain uncertain.

Hill is still on the rebound from his knee surgery that kept him out for two weeks, and the 39-year-old will again be a gametime decision following his pre-game warm-up routine.

Meanwhile, Channing Frye’s availability remains up in the air after suffering a subluxed right shoulder that occurred during Saturday’s 118-107 loss against Denver.

Complicating matters was the news that Frye’s wife went into labor early Monday morning. The power forward was still with his family at the hospital as his teammates boarded the bus to the airport, and if he does intend to play, he would likely not fly into Salt Lake City until tomorrow, head coach Alvin Gentry said.

As for his shoulder, Frye has been undergoing rehabilitation exercises with the Suns’ training staff, and while he has made progress, there’s still little known about whether he’ll be ready to go against the Jazz.

“I don’t know enough about (the injury) to tell you exactly how it is. I think (rehab has) been OK,” Gentry said. “He’s made some progress, but who knows? He’s still going to have to be able to get his shoulder up above his head to shoot the basketball.

“That’s one of those deals, in the next 36 hours we’ll have a better feeling what it is.”

If both Frye and Hill are scratches for the Jazz game, the pressure mounts for the Suns, who need any and all contributors they can get.

In matching up against Utah’s large frontline that sometimes goes with Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors and Paul Millsap on the court at the same time, Frye’s absence could be especially hurtful. A match-up burden for Millsap, he recorded his season high of 26 points against the Jazz on March 14 while going 5-of-10 from behind the three-point line.

“Part of our strength is all our different guys pitch in a little bit,” Steve Nash said. “He spaces the floor for us, and gives us some size, but whatever we throw out there we got to find a way to fight, scrap and claw, get it done.”

Gentry said that his coaching staff haven’t yet discussed how the rotations will work — does Markieff Morris move into the starting lineup, or does Hakim Warrick start to keep the second unit together? — if Frye is indeed sitting this one out.

Warrick put in seven points and grabbed four rebounds in 19 minutes after Frye’s injury against the Nuggets.

“I think that (Warrick) played well,” Gentry said. “You sit over there for 12, 14 games, your timing is going to be a little bit off. I thought he did a good job for us. Got in, posted up a couple times, got to the foul line, did a good job there.”

Nash didn’t flinch when asked Monday if the potential loss of Hill and Frye would be distracting considering how many things are now up in the air for the Suns’ most important game of the year. And by the way, it’s one that Gentry finally admitted — math gives him no choice — as being a “must-win.”

“The whole season’s been up in the air for this team,” the two-time MVP said. “We lost our first game and we’ve been fighting ever since to get back in position to make the playoffs, and here we are with two games left with a chance to win both and go to the playoffs.”

  • Scott

    I don’t think it’s a good idea for Frye to return before he’s ready. The same with Hill.

    If Hill hadn’t returned so early and then re-injured himself, my guess is he might have been available for this game.

    So no point in Frye coming in for a few minutes this game, getting re-injured, and then maybe the Suns go into the playoffs without him.

  • Tony

    How bad are things for the Suns when the team is depending on Frye to get to the postseason? Unfortunately, I too have to echo how important he is for tomorrow’s game. Morris is clearly not comfortable starting and I just hope Gentry doesn’t try Warrick at the four. I am still amazed Warrick was drafted in the first round as what about his game could possibly make any scout think he could make it in the NBA as a pf? I guess if you can jump then that’s all it takes.

  • shawn

    The fact that the suns still have a chance at the 8 spot is amazing in itself. I had no clue frye was injured I was to busy getting married saturday to notice but I will be watching tomorrow and hope the basketball gods are kind and allow someone to have a breakout game instead of it always being the other team or nash can go crazy and be kobe for a night. Go suns !!!

  • Fan in Chi Town

    Tony, Warrick is just one of many first round busts, its not like he’s the only one, ya know

  • Tony

    @Fan,

    I understand there are many 1st round busts, which is why tanking isn’t such a guarantee, but Warrick is so undersized to play pf how could any NBA scout consider him an asset? Unless they expected him to get bigger and stronger, there’s just no way he can be consistently effective playing pf. The only skill he has is jumping, so it’s not as if he’s undersized but is a great shooter. Furthermore, his basketball IQ is off the charts bad. He’s seriously lucky the Suns have such an incompetent owner, as no way any other team signs him for the amount Sarver paid.

  • steve

    He’s the only one… Ever. The three stooges are the only front office that has ever made a bad decision, in fact. In three more years, the Suns will be relegated to the d league. The nba will institute relegation just to get rid of the awful franchise we’re about to be blessed with thanks to this incompetent front office. True story.

  • Tony

    Oops, criticize Sarver, and guess who comes to his defense?!! Steve, why don’t you compile more useless statistics because that seems to be your entire frame of reference when it comes to understanding basketball. For instance, why don’t you tell us how good a shooter Childress is based on his career fg%…. Or, look up the last time the Suns went consecutive years without making the playoffs and report back. Or, even better, see if you can find the last time an NBA team made it to the WCFs or ECFs and then, in the subsequent year, didn’t even make the playoffs. (Exclude injuries though, as generally, they are an unforeseeable occurrence).
    For the record, Memphis drafted Warrick, so I was more interested as to why they drafted him not why Sarver signed him. I already know why Sarver made that move, because he saw a “poor-man’s” Amare who could run pick&rolls. Of course, his inability to do anything else in conjunction with his obvious lack of size to play pf made his signing another ludicrous one, but that’s besides the point.

    @Mike,

    thanks for the link. I cannot believe he was compared to being as good as LaMarcus Aldridge! But as I surmised, his great leaping ability seems to have been his ticket to the NBA.

  • steve

    Here we go with the “useless” statistics again. I trust your opinion so much more… Especially in light of the fact that every gm in the nba comes to you for personnel advice and shuns statistics. In fact, “statistics” is the new s-word in 27 nba clubhouses. The only ones that haven’t adopted the new s-word policy are new orleans (because nothing is sin there), utah (because they already have too many sins there to make new ones up), and charlotte (because mj might be the only owner in history who is more incompetent than sarver… But probably not). The nba will make it official policy once stern sees the light. No more stats. No more judging players objectively. No more numbers. Numbers suck. I never really understood them anyway.