A senior Chinese sports official expressed disbelief yesterday following a report that basketball icon Yao Ming may not play next season and could be facing a career-ending injury.
Chinese fans also largely voiced skepticism over the 2.26m center’s repeated injuries, speculating it could be a ploy to lower his value as his contract will soon be up for renewal.
Yao’s camp had earlier given a pessimistic read-out on the slow recovery of his broken foot to the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), the sports Web site of major Chinese portal Sina.com said, citing CBA vice head Hu Jiashi.
“But they did not say that he would miss the coming NBA season, nor did they say he would miss the  World Championships,” Hu was quoted as saying.
“I believe his injury has not progressed to such a stage,” he said.
On Monday, Houston Rockets team doctor Tom Clanton told the Houston Chronicle that Yao’s left foot, which was broken in a May post-season game against the Los Angeles Lakers, could be a “career-threatening” injury.
“At this point, the injury has the potential for him missing this next season and could be career-threatening,” Clanton said.
“One of the things we are trying to get is a consensus opinion on that, to make certain there is no option we are overlooking that would provide an earlier return or would be an option for treatment that he would prefer rather than doing additional surgery,” he said.
Yao has already been given approval to miss this summer’s Asian Basketball Championships in the east Chinese city of Tianjin, but the CBA hopes he will be able to play for the national team at next year’s World Championships in Turkey.
Fan postings on the Sina.com Web site expressed suspicions that the Rockets were trying to drive Yao’s value down, as he has two years left on his contract and could opt out next year and sign with another team.
“The Rockets don’t want Yao to leave, so they hope to sign him early, this is the way to bring his price down,” a Sina.com posting said. “As soon as Yao Ming signs, his doctor will immediately say he can play again, 182 games will be no problem.”
Other postings were not so kind to the superstar, with many expressing impatience with his repeated injuries.
“I support Yao retiring from the NBA,” said one. “That will save him from making a fool of himself.”
Yao played in 77 regular-season games in 2008-2009, his most injury-free year since 2004-2005, when he played in 80.
Before last season, Yao missed chunks of previous three seasons with leg and foot injuries.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very