Sat, Jul 04, 2009 - Page 19 News List

NBA: Yao will wait week before deciding on surgery on left foot

AP , BEIJING

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming walks off the court following his team’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Houston, Texas, on May 8.

PHOTO: AP

Houston Rockets All-Star center Yao Ming will have to wait up to a week before he knows whether he will need surgery on his broken left foot.

The future of 226cm Yao is in question amid reports from the team doctor that the hairline fracture in his foot could keep him out of all of next season, and potentially end his career.

“It hasn’t been decided yet,” Yao’s agent, Eric Zhang, told reporters yesterday. “He is still in the process of group consultations of doctors holding different opinions and different plans. The result of the consultations is due within a week.”

Yao sustained a hairline fracture of the tarsal navicular bone late in a May 8 playoff game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Rockets said last week that the injury has not healed and he was out indefinitely.

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 the previous three seasons with leg and foot injuries.

In 2006-2007, Yao missed 32 games after breaking his right leg. He suffered a stress fracture in his left foot in 2007-2008, underwent surgery and sat out 26 games.

Yao is due to make more than US$16 million next season, with a player option for 2010-2011 that would pay him more than US$17 million.

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