Suns want to see healthy Stoudemire

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PHOENIX (AP) -- The Phoenix Suns want to see how Amare Stoudemire returns from eye surgery before offering him a contract extension.

The All-Star forward missed the rest of the season after a Feb. 20 operation to repair a partially detached retina, and last week he underwent another procedure as part of the recovery process.

Suns general manager Steve Kerr said yesterday "We need to see him play" before making a decision on an extension.

Stoudemire said last week after a workout at U.S. Airways Center that he believes he deserves the maximum extension.

Stoudemire can become a free agent after next season, but he has said he'd like to remain with the team that drafted him in the first round in 2002 -- as long as the Suns are contenders.

Phoenix missed the playoffs last season.

The Suns have fielded trade offers for Stoudemire this summer. If they decide to keep him, they could sign him to an extension at any point next season.

Those talks could heat up if Stoudemire comes back strong from his surgery, as he has vowed to do.