The 6-foot-10, 245-pound forward was fifth in the NBA in scoring at 26 points per game last season, his third in the league. He averaged 30 points in the playoffs, 37 in the Western Conference finals against Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Carter detected the defect in an MRI exam several weeks ago and initially dealt with it through treatment and rest. Stoudemire first talked about the soreness several weeks ago. After it worsened during last week’s training camp in Tucson, he sought the opinions of three doctors before giving Carter the go-ahead for arthroscopic surgery. “Dr. Carter, in consultation with Amare, chose the best course of action in terms of treating it aggressively and taking care of it now rather than letting it become a lingering problem,’ Colangelo said. In a news release, the Suns said Carter repaired a joint surface defect roughly one centimeter in diameter on the inside of his left knee. Considered the cornerstone of the franchise, Stoudemire has improved each year and was a main component of a team that won a league-best 62 games last season. PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns will be without all-star forward Amare Stoudemire for about four months after he underwent surgery to repair damage to his injured left knee Tuesday. The extent of the injury was determined during “diagnostic’ surgery by team doctor Thomas Carter, who then proceeded with the repair, Suns president Bryan Colangelo said. Stoudemire, who turns 23 next month, signed a five-year, $73 million contract extension last week, the maximum allowed under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement with the players union. Colangelo said the team knew of Stoudemire’s knee problem during contract negotiations, but was not aware of the extent until Tuesday’s surgery. The team projects Stoudemire to return around the All-Star break Feb. 17-21.