Yao's sprain won't keep him out of practice, opener

Updated: October 27, 2006, 11:05 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Yao Ming
Yao

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming left Thursday night's preseason loss to the Orlando Magic in the second quarter with a sprained ankle. After a disappointing 34-48 campaign in 2005-06 that featured an injury-plagued season for Tracy McGrady, fans were holding their breath. They can exhale.

The Houston Chronicle reported Friday night that Yao will not even miss a beat. He'll practice with his teammates Saturday and should be ready for the season opener Wednesday.

"It's fine," Yao told the newspaper. "[Sitting out] was for safety. I was just boxing out for a defensive rebound, and I was pushed from behind. My ankle got bent over too far. It's not a big problem."

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