June 29, 2009

Report: Yao out for 2009-10 campaign?

A hairline fracture in Houston Rockets center Yao Ming's left foot could keep him sidelined next season and may end his career, the team doctor said Monday.

At this point, the injury has the potential for him missing this next season and could be career threatening, team physician Tom 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.

The Houston Chronicle reported Monday the bone was expected to be healed by last week, but the fracture discovered following Houston's Game 3 loss to the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals grew worse despite treatment.

Yao missed only two out of 246 games in his first three years in the NBA. But in April 2006, he suffered a broken bone in his foot and the following season played in just 48 games after a knee injury.

Yao was in only 55 games in 2007-08 due to a stress fracture in his foot.

The 7-foot-6 center has been an all-star in each of his seven seasons in the NBA. In 481 career games -- all with Houston -- Yao has averaged 19.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots.